Longinotto's documentary is a brave, if brutally graphic, attempt to demystify the practice of female mutilation in Kenya. Through interviews and fly-on-the-wall observation she examines its entrenchment within African culture, particularly Somalia, where the circumcision rate is almost 100 per cent. Tribal elders insist that children are born with both male and female organs and must be circumcised before they can become separate sexes. Without it, women risk infection and become promiscuous. Re-education campaigns exist - nurse Fardhosa offers advice, healthcare and practical help - but the girls themselves are fighting back through the courts. The emotional pain of youngsters being pressurised by those designated to love and protect them, their mothers, is hard to watch, but harder to ignore.
You may also like