The Columbus Free Press sponsored an August 25, screening of the documentary “A Powerful Noise” at the Drexel Theater in Bexley. The movie focused on three women who aided the people of their countries, especially assisting women who are discriminated against after tragic experiences. The three women’s names are Jacqueline (a woman from Bamako, Mali), Hahn (a Vietnamese woman) and Nada (a mother from Bosnia).

Jacqueline (better known as “Madame Urbain” to the people she helps) runs an organization called APAF which helps the women of Bamako get regulated pay and just treatment from their employers, but it does not stop there. Additionally, the organization helps women who were not able to get an education that enables them to sustain a normal life. Madame Urbain also knows that it is important to not only assist the women of Bamako, so she is a motivational speaker who talks to children currently enrolled in school, and villages where she has helped build schools.

Hahn runs an HIV/AIDS awareness association called “Immortal Flower” that goes around to different village streets and companies passing out condoms, encouraging people to get tested for HIV and urging them to attend her group’s meetings. Hahn and her family were diagnosed with HIV. Not long after being diagnosed, Hahn’s daughter passed away and within a few months, her husband died as well. She constantly tells her tale to groups informing them that getting tested and being protected is the best way to keep you safe from the virus, and prolong your life.

Nada is a Bosnian mother of two whom is trying to give women equal rights in Bosnia with her organization “Maja Kravica.” This organization is helping women become employed after the Bosnian war in 1992, that demolished the country and ripped its economy into glitter-sized pieces. Nada was told by her country’s ambassador that she is helping stimulate her nation’s economy with the festivals she throws and the jobs she aids in establishing.

Viewers of this film will not only be informed of women’s struggles that are currently happening around the world, but will be enlightened about their organizations and encouraged to donate to their causes.

The movie inspired this reviewer to stand up at the end of this movie and pursue dreams that have only a bobby pin-thin chance of success with the determination of “the little engine that could.” The main thought that comes to mind when contemplating what this “powerful noise” actually is, is the united shout from three women’s souls that, if translated, would harmonize “equality.”

Terrence Robertson is an intern with the Columbus Free Press and part of the CICJ 2009 Young Reporter's Project.