‘Code of Silence’ is an award winning one-hour observational documentary that follows the parallel journeys of a fervently Orthodox Jewish father and his now-secular son, after the son breaks the code of silence in Melbourne’s Chabad-Lubavitch community going public with his story about being sexually abused as a student.
2014: ABC Australia
2017: Special screening, Committee for the Rights of the Child, the Knesset Israeli parliament
Manny Waks was a victim of child sex abuse at the Ultra-Orthodox Chabad Yeshiva in Melbourne. He demands the perpetrators be brought to justice, as well as the Rabbis, whom he claims covered it up. His father Zephaniah, who claims he has been virtually excommunicated for informing secular authorities, demands his name be publicly cleared. But what price will the father and son pay for blowing the whistle on the leaders of this powerful Jewish sect? This is a deeply personal journey filled with intimate, emotionally charged and candid behind-the-scenes moments of two people waging the fight of their lives.
This is a film that reveals the ongoing dominance of an ancient Code of Silence and the consequences for challenging it. CODE OF SILENCE is a film about victims and their supporters standing up for justice, the price people pay for doing so and the lengths people will go to prevent it and, in so doing, protect themselves and their institution.