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City of Joy, the film, tells the story of the first class of women at City of Joy, and chronicles the process by which such a revolutionary place came to be, from its origins with the women survivors themselves, to the opening of the center’s doors. Directed by first-time director Madeleine Gavin, produced by Allyson Luchak, executive produced by Dan Cogan, Geralyn White Dreyfous, Regina K. Scully, Amy Rao, and Wendy Schmidt, co-produced by Jenny Raskin, and shot by cinematographer Taylor Krauss, the film provides an unprecedented window into the lives of the women the center serves. It also gives the audience a glimpse into the unlikely friendship that develops when a devout Congolese doctor, Dr. Denis Mukwege (2018 Nobel Peace Prize laureate), radical playwright and activist, V (formerly Eve Ensler) (Tony Award winning writer of The Vagina Monologues and founder of V-Day and One Billion Rising), and a charismatic Belgian – Congolese human rights activist, Christine Schuler Deschryver (Director of the City of Joy), join forces to create this safe haven in the middle of violence-torn and underserved Eastern Congo.

Through the course of the film, we meet the women of the first class to go through the program and learn about their pasts, fears and hopes. One of them is Jane, age 38, who survived unthinkable violence and healed herself during her time at City of Joy. Her story guides us through the film.

Netflix released the documentary film City of Joy on 7 September 2018 for viewers around the world to see.


The award-winning film takes the audience on an intimate and inspiring journey. Since opening its doors, over 1900 women have graduated from the City of Joy, women who have healed themselves, been nurtured, learned new skills, empowered themselves and together joined into a network of love and revolution.

We believe that EVERYONE should see this film, as it demonstrates a guiding principle of the V-Day movement – that pain can be turned to power, and can fuel inner and societal revolution. Through the film, millions of people across Netflix’s 190 country network will come to know the stories of Congolese women and the work at City of Joy.

» WATCH The Documentary Film on Netflix (You must have a Netflix account. Please see Netflix screening guidelines below, scroll down)

» Download the CITY OF JOY Screening Guide

» Sign up for Updates on the City of Joy


During this Covid-19 pandemic, gather friends and community virtually and safely, watch CITY OF JOY and make use of the screening guide for small discussion groups via Zoom, Whatsapp, or Facetime. If you host a screening, please let us know by filling out this form and follow Netflix’s guidelines for educational screening detailed below.

Netflix is proud to present original documentaries that speak to our users in a meaningful way. We know that many of you are as excited about these films as we are; and because of their informational aspects, you’d like to show them in an educational setting — e.g., in the classroom, at the next meeting of your community group, with your book club, etc.

Consequently, we will permit one-time educational screenings – “one-time screening” means that you can’t hold screenings several times in one day or one week, but if, for example, you’re an educator who wants to show the film once a semester over multiple semesters, that’s okay.

Educational screenings are permitted for any of the documentaries noted with this information, on the following terms:

  • The documentary may only be accessed via the Netflix service, by a Netflix account holder. We don’t sell DVDs, nor can we provide other ways for you to exhibit the film.
  • The screening must be non-profit and non-commercial. That means you can’t charge admission, or solicit donations, or accept advertising or commercial sponsorships in connection with the screening.
  • Please don’t use Netflix’s logos in any promotion for the screening, or do anything else that indicates that the screening is “official” or endorsed by Netflix.
  • We trust our users to respect these guidelines, which are intended to help you share and discuss our documentary content in your community.

To the extent your institution requires you to demonstrate that your have a license for your screening, please show them this page:

Trigger Warning: Prepare to Support Survivors and Audience Members

Be sure to make your audience aware of the content of the film prior to screening. Stories about sexual assault, rape and sexual and physical torture are relayed in the film. You may consider having a social worker, therapist, and/or rape crisis counselor on hand to support viewers and survivors who might be triggered.