Breaking the Silence
90/62/58 min |
Pierre-Emmanuel Luneau-Daurignac | 2020
A production by YUZU Productions, ARTE France, RTS, RTBF, LCP
with the participation of the Ile-de-France region and the CNC
In addition to this, you need to know more about it.
International sales : JAVA FILMS
Many recent scandals have exposed sexual abuse of minors in sport, and suggest an even broader phenomenon. Gymnasts, swimmers and volleyball players in the USA, football players in UK, skiers in Austria, hockey players in Canada, figure skating athletes, rugby players and sprinters in France, swimmers and karatekas in Switzerland, judokas in Belgium, skaters in South Korea, gymnasts in Brazil...
Today, all the studies agree: girl or boy, before the age of 18, one in seven sportsmen and women suffer sexual violence. These rates increase significantly for LGBT minorities and athletes with disabilities, and rise to nearly 30% for top-level athletes. The number of children who are victims of it is therefore estimated to be in the hundreds of thousands. Children who practice sports are twice more likely to experience sexual abuse or harassment than children who don’t. The magnitude of this phenomenon probably exceeds the number of victims of pedophilia in the Church.
There is no doubt that these behaviors are the work of criminals most often present in the direct supervision of the young athlete. This is not a series of occasional slip-ups but a revelation of a sick system. Sport, whether amateur or professional, collective or individual, accumulates the factors that facilitate sexual violence by adults against minors: submission to authority, culture of endurance and suffering, male over-representation, cult of the body, psychological hold, distance from parents, dreams of fame and fortune, financial stakes, federations governed by a handful of male leaders without counter-powers, weak control by States...
But for too long sport has been a world that cultivates secrecy. Sport, especially at a high level, is a self-enclosed world with its rules, its codes, where States laws and Justice barely penetrate. In this world apart, when a crime occurs the first reflex is silence. And the tens of billions of dollars from sponsors and broadcasting rights are also there to stifle all scandals.
Led by a director who won an award from the French Foundation for Children and who, 10 years ago, was one of the first in Europe to expose the scandal, this investigation and highlight the absolute necessity of a profound cultural revolution in sport.