Daylight Come

Following decades of war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, two American women struggle to help a group of Congolese women rebuild their lives amidst the scars of sexual violence and poverty. As their Western ideas create new challenges, Daylight Come begs the question: in the face of tremendous suffering, can one person really make a difference? Offering a new voice in the story being told about Congo, Daylight Come reveals hope can still be found no matter how long the night.

Eager to help and full of naive optimism, Robin and Wendy quickly find themselves unprepared for the magnitude of the rape crisis when they meet 12 survivors and their 40 children, living in a roofless building. They attempt to help them back on their feet by finding them a home and formulating business plans that might offer them the prospect of a new life. However, every step forward seems stifled by two steps back as some of the women oppose the business projects and Robin is forced to confront the level of dependency she has engendered.

These challenges are contrasted by the intimate relationships developed with the survivors, whose stories reveal that they are so much more than victims — each is a woman, a mother, a friend. This incredibly personal journey invites us to connect with these Congolese women, feel invested in their stories and inspired to fight for their futures.

  • Evan Vetter
    Director
    Times Like Dying
  • Evan Vetter
    Writer
    Times Like Dying
  • JR Jones
    Writer
  • Shon Blotzer
    Producer
  • JR Jones
    Producer
  • Project Type:
    Documentary
  • Genres:
    Social Justice, Women's Rights, Congo, Africa, Women, Justice, Economic Empowerment
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 17 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    October 1, 2014
  • Production Budget:
    45,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    Congo, the Democratic Republic of the
  • Language:
    English, French, Swahili
  • Shooting Format:
    DV
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color
  • First-time Filmmaker:
    Yes
  • Student Project:
    No
  • Bend Film Festival
    Bend, OR
    October 10, 2014
    World Premiere
  • Cucalorus Film Festival
    Wilmington, NC
    November 14, 2014
    North Carolina Premiere
  • Attic Film Festival
    Austin, TX
    April 25, 2015
    Texas Premiere
    Jury Prize
  • Awareness Film Festival
    Los Angeles, CA
    September 12, 2015
    California Premiere
    Jury Prize: Best Documentary
  • Justice Film Festival
    Chicago, IL
    June 6, 2015
    Illinois Premiere
  • Chagrin Documentary Film Festival
    Chagrin Falls, OH
    October 10, 2015
    Ohio Premiere
Director Biography - Evan Vetter

Evan Vetter is a Telly Award-winning producer/director who specializes in short narrative and documentary film. He created the award-winning Congocast documentary podcast to help spread awareness about the situation facing the women and children of the DR Congo. A storyteller at heart, Evan’s passion is crafting narratives that reveal hope in unexpected places.

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Director Statement

Seven years ago I learned for the first time about the war that was raging in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. Two friends of mine, Robin Tabbiner and Wendy Merritt were moving there to work with women and children affected by the conflict. I was immediately compelled by the story of the Congo they painted, a place where women and children are the collateral damage of a war that has raged since 1996. I couldn't comprehend the brutality that would propel such evil, so I began to help Robin and Wendy document their work, and subsequently began documenting the lives of the women they were engaged with and their stories of survival.

At first, we turned all of this into a successful video podcast. But as we began to dig through the over 200 hours of footage we realized that there was a greater story to be told here as a feature. It would have been simplistic to try and paint a picture where the “Westerners come and save the day.” But looking through the footage, the reality of work in countries that are not your own is much more complicated. Stories of women whose lives have been shattered by armed rebel groups because of mineral wealth underfoot. Well intentioned plans of western workers who discover a community that might already know how to help itself. Beauty in seeing that community come along side these survivors and helping to empower them to rebuild their lives.

While witnessing the devastation brought upon the Congolese by decades of war, each of the women in our film have one surprising thing in common, HOPE. I believe this unyielding hope will allow audiences to engage in these stories and see the Congolese people for who they truly are; strong in the face of suffering, faithful when it seems that all is lost and expectant for the future.

During my first trip to Congo, I spoke with Rebecka Martinsson, one of the administrators at Panzi Hospital and she stated bluntly at the end of our time together, "Now you know, now we do something." Those words have rung in my soul since that day and are the reason you are now receiving our film “Daylight Come.” Thank you for considering our film.

Sincerely,

Evan Vetter