New to VOD this week:
Kate O’Callaghan and Patrick Farrelly
Sheffield, Mill Valley, Human Rights Watch, Movies That Matter, Bergen
A Gambian woman becomes an activist against female genital mutilation.
As a newborn in Gambia, Jaha Dukureh was subjected to FGM. She didn’t understand its impact on her body for several years, until she was forced by her father to move to NYC to marry a violent man three decades her senior. It was only after she escaped this abusive relationship, remarried in Atlanta, and had a daughter herself that Jaha began to reckon with FGM and become an activist, eventually returning to her homeland to organize a campaign to ban its practice. While O’Callaghan and Farrelly have found a strong, determined protagonist to confront a challenging issue, their storytelling approach is overly basic, with a surfeit of narration from Jaha that makes the project’s message feel spoonfed, weakening its overall impact.