The film recently had its LA premiere—here are nine things we learned from the screening and discussion with the filmmakers.
The nights of April 14 and April 15, 2014 permanently altered the lives of 276 school girls in the town of Chibok, Nigeria in Borno State. Taken hostage by Boko Haram and held in the depths of Sambisa Forest in Northern Nigeria, the brazen kidnappings ignited a social media firestorm.
Celebrities and public figures, ranging from former First Lady
Michelle Obama to Queen Latifah, Usher, Whoopi Goldberg, Mary J. Blige, Angelina Jolie, Ellen Degeneres and more, rallied behind the hashtag #BringBackOurGirls in hopes of securing their speedy release. The Nigerian government, under tremendous international pressure, attempted negotiate with Boko Haram leaders; in the interim months 57 girls managed to escape. Then, in October 2016, the government secured the release of 21 girls. Three years later in May, 2017, Boko Haram released an additional 82 girls. As of today, a total of 103 girls have been released, and just over 100 still remain in captivity.
HBO's documentary Stolen Daughters: Kidnapped by Boko Haram delves into their lives post Boko Haram, highlighting the triumphs and the struggles of reintegrating into a society where they, as survivors, are at once celebrated and treated as other. Nigerian-American actress Yvonne Orji recently hosted a screening of Stolen Daughters followed by a panel discussion with producers Karen Edwards and Sasha Achilli—who were one of the few people granted access to the government safehouse in Abuja, where the girls received counseling before going on to attend university.
Below are nine things we learned from the film and panel discussion.