Fatal Silence, a documentary about the murder of Sonia El-Birani by her husband, produced by Facilitator films and directed by multiple-awarding director Alan Powell will have it's Canadian premiere at the University of Western Ontario, Althouse College in London Ontario. The idea for the film was pitched to Barb MacQuarrie, Community Director of Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women & Children in 2017. "Barb was onside immediately. Later that same year the stars aligned and we were able to bring Maha El-Birani (Sonia's daughter) to Canada through a partnership with the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Conference." Recalls Powell.
Powell spent a few days with Maha during her visit to the conference where she spoke publicly of the traumatic events. Fatal Silence goes behind the scenes of the conference and documents conversations Maha has with Powell and others that examines the barriers that prevented her from seeking help for her family.
Story editor Dave Gabriel Bene spent months in discussions with Powell and going through the footage to weave together the best possible story. The result is a poignant film that highlights the importance of friends and families in interrupting the pattern of domestic violence.
The free premiere screening is on February 20, 2019 @ 6:30pm at Althouse College, Western University, Faculty of Education 1137 Western Road, London Ontario. Following the film there will be a panel discussion with Maha El-Birani, Mohammed Baobaid, Executive Director Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support & Integration, and Peter Jaffe, Academic Director Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children. The screening is open to the general public.
The film was made possible through the generous support of Neighbours, Friends and Families, Muslim Resource Centre for Social Support and Integration & Centre for Research & Education on Violence Against Women and Children.