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Telling Difficult Stories

Film and discussion series confronts domestic violence, rape, and mental illness

Students and faculty from Dartmouth and Dartmouth Medical School (DMS) working together to raise awareness about domestic violence, rape, and mental illness have organized a three-day program, "Cries of Silence," which runs May 10 through 12. Screenings of three acclaimed documentaries followed by panel discussions will be the centerpiece of the program. Academy Award-winning (Chernobyl Heart) filmmaker Maryann DeLeo and Lifetime Television Vice President Meredith Wagner will be on campus to discuss the films, speak with students, and share their thoughts with the community.

From the documentary Terror at Home, which will be shown on May 11. (Photo courtesy Lifetime Television)

"Many of Maryann's films delve into difficult, personal subjects," says Lee Witters, the Eugene W. Leonard 1921 Professor of Biology and a professor of medicine and biochemistry at DMS. "She tells stories with honesty and she respects the people she is filming. I think our community will learn a great deal from this program."

Panel participants will include Wagner, DeLeo, representatives of the Women's Information Service (WISE), an Upper Valley advocacy organization for victims of domestic and sexual violence, and a variety of faculty members. DeLeo and Wagner will also speak with students in psychological and brain sciences, film and television studies, and English courses.

Organized by the Nathan Smith Premedical Society, "Cries of Silence" is additionally supported by the Council on Student Organizations, the Offices of the President and the Provost, the Sexual Abuse Awareness Program, Dartmouth Medical School, The Department of Film and Television Studies, and the Writing Program.

For more information, contact Kirsten Wolfe at 650-1908 or


All are open to the public and free of charge.

  • Rape: Cries from the Heartland
    Chronicles the experiences of seven rape victims, ranging in age from 8 to 72.
    May 10, 4 p.m., Collis Commonground
  • Terror at Home
    An intimate look at the lives of several women who are trying to end their abusive relationships.
    May 11, 4 p.m., 105 Dartmouth Hall
  • Bellevue Inside
    Explores day-to-day life in a mental hospital.
    May 11, 8 p.m., Kellogg Auditorium, DMS


Questions or comments about this article? We welcome your feedback.

Last Updated: 12/17/08