Break the Silence features raw, powerful interviews with 18 diverse cisgender and transgender women about their sexual & reproductive health histories. Challenging social taboo with unflinching candor, vulnerability, and often great humor, Break the Silence kickstarts vitally important community and classroom conversations around sexual education, health, autonomy, pleasure, and human rights.

“This documentary should be seen and digested by anyone with a pulse."

Donna Macomber, Women's Freedom Center
Synopsis: 

Using an inclusive and intersectional approach grounded in reproductive justice, Break the Silence refocuses attention onto the actual lived experiences of women. Cisgender and transgender women from a variety of racial and ethnic, age, sexual orientation, and class backgrounds candidly recount their histories with sexual education, early sexual experiences, abortion, birth control, masturbation, relationships, gender transition, menstruation, STIs, gynecological exams, sexual assault, pregnancy, pleasure, and much more.

By connecting the dots between our personal sexual and reproductive experiences and the broader social structures they unfold within, Break the Silence challenges us to reconsider unexamined beliefs and catalyzes vital conversations about the kind of world we want to live in.

Reviews

“Incredibly intimate, thoughtful, moving. I hope this is seen in many, many more communities as a tool for change.” 

Green Mountain Film Festival

“Raw and powerful intimacy…the response from the audience was incredible.” 

Qian Li, Student, Middlebury College

Break the Silence opens the conversation around needs of transgender women, not with our differences, but with our similarities. Our realities are not all that different.  We are women. We are human.” 

Brenda Churchill, LGBTQIA Alliance of Vermont

This is an important film for students today. Break the Silence is an eye-opening and raw view into individual stories of sexuality and sexual experiences that sheds light on both the tragedies and beauty of sex and relationships in our time. The power and meaning of the stories speak to the experiences, fears and joys of young people even if the specifics of a story are far away from their own. 

Derek Hutchinson, Lead Teacher, Mendocino Community High School

O'Feral's powerful documentary roused the little girl resting in my psyche's recesses...I cried for that little girl, and bore witness to the pain, the strength, and the resilience of the women on the screen. We appear to be at a national moment of reckoning in how we talk about and address sexual abuse and harassment. These stories need to be told so we can bear witness and help each other to heal.

Becca Balint, Vermont Senate Majority Leader

Break the Silence is endearing, heart-wrenching, and empowering. The stories are gentle in their delivery, yet collectively they serve as a loud wake up call to people to understand the very real life experiences of these women, and all women.

Lucy Leriche, VP of Public Policy, Planned Parenthood Northern New England
Director's Commentary: 

I made Break the Silence because it’s a film I wanted to see. I wanted to hear women’s voices: raw, direct, courageous in their vulnerability, liberated from the everyday oppression and silencing that happens around our sexual and reproductive realities. I want a future where all people are free from sexual violence and gendered oppression; a future where all people have access to comprehensive, accurate, pleasure-based, queer-and-trans-inclusive sexual education, and comprehensive universal sexual and reproductive healthcare. I believe storytelling is the most effective way to change hearts and minds, and Break the Silence is a powerful argument in favor of that bright future.