Documentary Film: Wicked Silence
The North Carolina Forced Sterilization Program & Bioethics
Wicked Silence is a film documentary about the NC forced eugenics program created by graduate students Jessica Pic and Sana Haq in the Documentary Film Program here at Wake Forest University.
The film explores the North Carolina eugenics program through the eyes of those who experienced it. Featured in the film are Elaine, Ann, and Willis, three out of approximately 8000 victims of forced sterilizations sanctioned by the Eugenics Board of North Carolina. Falsely accused of feeble-mindedness, promiscuity, and being a burden on society, they were sterilized without their knowledge. All three of them were under the age of 14.
For years now they have been fighting for justice and reparations for the wrong that was done to them. Behind them stands a journalist and an advocate for their rights, John Railey, who has helped spread the word about this atrocity through his columns and consistent campaigning for compensation.
Wicked Silence explores the North Carolina eugenics program through the eyes of those who experienced it. We hear their painful stories, but we also see their strength and resilience in the face of incredible loss. A story of suffering, it is also a story of healing, and most importantly, a story of hope.
Laura Scott, WFU Bioethics Graduate Student, prepared, in conjunction with the Center for Bioethics, Health & Society and the Documentary Film Program, Wake Forest University, the following two Guides.
The Instructor’s Guide provides additional resources, questions and discussion points for those teaching about eugenic sterilization and the ethical and policy issues it raises.