A documentary that explores Pat Robertson’s use of charity resources for Operation Blessing debuted Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The charity organization has claimed that Mission Congo’s promotional materials are “false and defamatory,” and it may take legal action.
A release from the film festival calls the movie “eye opening” and claims that it “deals with Robertson’s exploitation of one of the worst humanitarian crises of modern times for what appeared to be his own personal gain.”
Chris Roslan, a spokesperson for Operation Blessing, says allegations in the promotional material film and on the film festival website are false and defamatory.
“We are considering legal action,” he says.
Mission Congo reportedly claims that Robertson, founder of Christian Broadcasting Network and Operation Blessing International, exploited the Rwandan refugee crisis by using planes to advance a diamond-mining venture, The Virginian-Pilot reports.
Filmmakers Lara Zizic and David Turner were inspired by a series of reports from the Pilot in the 1990s. The articles, written by Bill Sizemore, detailed how Robertson raised funds through his television show, The 700 Club, for the Rwandan refugee crisis in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The filmmakers interviewed former employees of Operation Blessing and government officials in Africa throughout the three years the project was in production. Producers also interviewed Sizemore, who appears in the film.
Zizic and Turner say Robertson declined an invitation to appear in the film, but they had asked him to participate in discussion after the premiere.