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Men are Human, Women are Buffalo combines interviews and shadow puppetry to tell five moving stories about domestic violence in Thailand. A country that is promoted to western tourists as a fairytale land of beautiful beaches, pristine countryside, cheap vacations, and a thriving sex trade industry, Thailand is also one of the developing countries with the highest incidence of violence against women. According to Prof. Maytinee Bhongsvej, the Executive Director of the Association for the Promotion and Status of Women (APSW) in Bangkok, approximately 44 percent of women in Thailand have indicated that they had suffered sexual, physical, and emotional abuse by a partner or a stranger.
In this documentary, five women share their personal and compelling stories of abuse. One woman is the head nurse at a large hospital in Bangkok. Another is a successful business woman who owns a number of restaurants and other businesses. Three younger women recount their experiences of rape and violent relationships. Their stories are sensitively enacted through a series of puppet plays, inspired by traditional Thai puppet theater that is still performed in many parts of Thailand.
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"Men are Human, Women Are Buffalo is a powerful new documentary that addresses a pervasive global Human Rights violations -- violence against women. While the film focuses on Thailand, I believe that the issues it addresses pertains to the problems women face all over the world. The stories of five women are sensitively and creatively dramatized through the use of interviews and shadow puppets.This film needs to be seen by students, professors, lawyers and all those concerned with this global epidemic."
Younghee Overly, President
UNIFEM/USA North Carolina Chapter
Non-Violence International Film Festival, Sept 12 - 20, 2008.
5th Annual Girl Fest Hawaii, Honolulu, Hawaii ~ Nov 7th - Nov 15th 2008
Austin Women\'s Film,Music, and Literary Festival, May 22 - 25, 2008.
7 Islands International Film Festival for World Peace, Mumbai, India, January 2011
55th Session of the Committee on the Status o Women at the United Nations, February 22, 2011
Joanne Hershfield Joanne Hershfield has been making social documentaries for over 20 years. Her most recent films include The Gillian Film, (2006); Women in Japan: Memories of the Past, Dreams for the Future, June 2002; and Nuestra Comunidad: Latinos in North Carolina, (2002). She is Professor and Chair of the Curriculum in Women's Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill.
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