Jewish entrepreneur Sheryl Sandberg has been speaking out against the sexual violence that took place in Israel on October 7 and the need for the international community to address it, even testifying about the subject in front of the U.N. and with political leaders across the world. Now, she has filmed a documentary on the topic titled “Screams Before Silence.”
The former COO of Facebook, now Meta, and the founder of LeanIn.org traveled to Israel to work on the film, holding on-camera interviews about the war crimes that happened on October 7, and also about the sexual assaults that hostages have revealed took place in captivity. The filming took place during the month of December and has now wrapped; the movie is slated to be released this April.
Sandberg will be narrating the film, which will feature discussions with eyewitnesses and survivors of the attack, released hostages and first responders and medical and forensic experts, interviews which she conducted over the course of a charged five days of filming.
“The last five days have been among the most emotional of my life,” the mother of two shared on her social media, writing that she visited the site of the Nova Festival with survivors of the massacre who told her about their terrifying experience and losses.
“I walked through the eucalyptus trees with real life heroes who rescued hundreds of people and recovered the bodies of those we lost,” she wrote. “I spoke with police investigators and first responders who saw with their own eyes the murder and mutilation of innocent civilians. And I sat and cried with released hostages, listening to their harrowing stories of survival and how they found humanity and resilience in each other.”
She shared that all these people “told stories of the unspeakable sexual violence that happened to women and men, old and young, many in the very last moments of their lives.”
She wrote that “for humanity’s sake,” we need to look at what happened on October 7 and “bear witness together.”
“Rape is not resistance. Rape is not freedom fighting,” she wrote. “We must stand together and make sure it is never used as a tool of war.”
“For the victims and eyewitnesses who survived, we must demand justice and hold their tormentors and rapists accountable for these crimes against humanity,” Sandberg shared in a press release about the film, adding, “And for those who did not survive, we must raise our voices because they cannot.”