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October 1, 2016 / 28 Elul, 5776
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Film of Israeli Rape Victim Who Became Miss World, at AFI

Tied up and raped at knifepoint, Linor Abargil was able to escape, to press charges, to find other victims of the same rapist, and make a documentary about how to speak out. Oh, and she was crowned "Miss World" just seven weeks after being raped.

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Just weeks before Linor Abargil became Miss World, the Israeli fashion model was brutally raped. A movie about her story, Brave Miss World, will be shown June 21 and 22 in the 2013 AFI Docs Film Festival

Just weeks before Linor Abargil became Miss World, the Israeli fashion model was brutally raped. A movie about her story, Brave Miss World, will be shown June 21 and 22 in the 2013 AFI Docs Film Festival in D.C.
Photo Credit: screen capture from Brave Miss World

“It’s like losing a daughter,” her mother admitted. “But better than alcohol, anorexia, bulimia, or so many other crises that can happen to victims.”

The producer and director of the film, Cecilia Peck, is the daughter of legendary film actor Gregory Peck.  In an interview about this film, Peck said of her father that  “he managed to make films about important issues that were controversial, like anti-Semitism in Gentleman’s Agreement,’ and he dealt with racism in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird.’ So, you know, I’m really grateful for that legacy that I come from, and trying in my own way—could never live up, but—to do stories that count.”

Peck has made a career of producing and directing films about people who act on the strength of their convictions.  She produced and directed the award-winning “Shut Up and Sing,” in addition to “Brave Miss World” and other documentaries, including one about her famous father.

Abargil has retired from modeling, and as an observant Jew no longer sings in public, but is still involved with making music, as is shown in the film.  She recently graduated from law school, passed the bar exam with honors, and now practices law full time, in addition to continuing with her advocacy on behalf of rape victims.

Later this week “Brave Miss World” will be shown as part of the prestigious American Film Institute’s Documentary Film Series, which is taking place in Washington, D.C. “Brave Miss World” is one of only 53 featured documentaries chosen from nearly 2000 submissions for the Film Series.  The AFI Docs series runs from June 19 – 23, in Washington, D.C.

“Brave Miss World” will be shown on Friday June 21 at 2:15 p.m. at the National Portrait Gallery, and on Saturday, June 22nd, at 7:30 p.m., at the Silver Theatre, in Silver Spring.  Tickets can be purchased through the link on the film’s Facebook page.

When asked about what is next for “Brave Miss World,” Peck explained to The Jewish Press that they have just begun to get distribution offers and are currently in negotiations.

The film will be released in theaters in December, and will then be broadcast on television.  Sometime in 2014 “Brave Miss World” will become available on DVD, so that it can be used in educational and community screenings in universities and schools across the U.S.

Linor Abargil, an Israeli beauty queen, has a bittersweet tale.  But she is a woman of valor whose strength and inner beauty provides a far more substantial life lesson than do most fairy tales about beauty pageants.  Find out when “Brave Miss World” is playing near you and go and see it.

Lori Lowenthal Marcus

About the Author: Lori Lowenthal Marcus is the U.S. correspondent for The Jewish Press. A graduate of Harvard Law School, she previously practiced First Amendment law and taught in Philadelphia-area graduate and law schools. You can reach her by email: Lori@JewishPressOnline.com

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