Tapestries of Hope
Tapestries of Hope is a vibrant international call to action to stop the rape and abuse of young women, and a breathtaking portrait of hope in the face of overwhelming odds. This feature-length documentary reveals the story of human rights activist Betty Makoni and the Girl Child Network in Zimbabwe, Africa. The documentary exposes the myth behind the belief that raping a virgin cures a man of HIV/AIDS. The film is co-written and diirected by award-winning filmmaker, Michealene Cristini Risley, co-written and produced by Susan Black, and also produced by Christopher Bankston, Anand Chandrasekaran, and Ray Arthur Wang.
Director Michealene Cristini Risley travelled to Zimbabwe to explore the rape and AIDS crisis in the country. She had previously befriended Betty Makoni, a born and raised Zimbabwean, and got to know about Makoni's organization, The Girl Child Network, which aims to re-empower abused kids and provides a network of protection for these girls.
The girls of Zimbabwe and Makoni were the main cast for this film. Throughout the film, Makoni helps these girls to become re-empowered and find their voice. Part of the healing process for girls consists of speaking out about the crimes committed against them. During the filming, Risley and her assistant were arrested and incarcerated. The film was also seized by the Zimbabwean Intelligence Office. However, the team managed to retrieve the footage before being deported from Zimbabwe, as reported by Voice of America.
At the Ranch online editing was required to deliver a one hour version of the film to Showtime and for DVD distribution by the Video Project.