Bringing domestic violence out into the open is the most powerful weapon the world has against it. It continues to flourish because it is hidden from sight and it is easy for people who could help to ignore something that makes them feel uncomfortable when they can pretend it doesn’t exist.
In Romania, Cheil Centrade has found a striking way to give the victims of domestic violence a voice for domestic abuse charity, Anais Association. In a way that people will want to hear. In repurposed scenes from silent movies that lost their copyright on January 1, 2019. The scenes were recut and arranged to fit the women’s stories. The women’s voices were laid over the footage and the stories were assembled in a 40-minute film called Unquiet Voices. Scenes from seven different silent films are intertwined with narratives of romances that became nightmares for women.
“It is estimated that every 30 seconds, a Romanian woman becomes a victim of domestic abuse, but very few are empowered to talk about their experience. The idea of Unquiet Voices is to reveal the almost unnoticed portrayal of violence against women in films and how men copy this wrong behaviour in real life,” the agency noted.
The real-life stories brought to life in the movie show different types of abuse, from psychological to economic. sexual, and even attempted murder. The movie talks about physically assaulted women who are left breathless on the floor, men who should be in jail but are walking freely, and children witnessing tragedies.
Ioana Zamfir, creative director, Cheil Centrade, explained, “The film industry has to promote the right values and it’s a shame that old movies had to actually lose their copyright in order for women to hope to regain theirs. But we hope it won’t take another 100 years for us to support victims of domestic abuse, as a society. I believe that, through a simple but incredibly moving voice dub, we created an empowering entertainment product that can shape the next generation of women for the better.”
The campaign launched with an online platform where women can watch the full stories and record their own story of abuse. It is being screened in cinemas across Romania, projected in art galleries and introduced as educational material in schools, colleges and even in the Romanian law courts. As well as its inspirational purpose, Unquiet Voices aims to raise funds to help keep the only shelter for domestic violence victims in Romania open.
Carmen Nemes, president, Anais Association, commented, “The first step in recovering from abuse is to actually talk about it. These are stories of brave women who dared for their words to speak loudly and to move us all. We hope more women going through similar situations will follow. We also hope that the campaign will raise the funds we need to help and support them going forward.”
Movies used in the campaign
A Woman of Paris, directed by Charlie Chaplin – 1923
Our Hospitality, directed by Buster Keaton and John G. Blystone – 1923
Flaming Youth, directed by John Francis Dillon- 1923
Safety Last!, directed by Fred C. Newmeyer and Sam Taylor- 1923
Souls for Sale, directed by Rupert Hughes- 1923
Where the North Begins, directed by Chester M. Franklin- 1923
Scaramouche, directed by Rex Ingram- 1923
Agency: Cheil Centrade
COO South East Europe: Mona Opran
Creative Director: Ioana Zamfir
Group Creative Directors: Adina Stanescu & Roxana Nita
Head of AV Production: Monica Garbur
Account Director: Ileana Ghita
Head of Digital Development: Paula Stan
Web Development: Atelieru de Internet
Production house: Studio Set
Artistic direction: Ioana Mischie