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Mrs. Goundo's Daughter
U.S./Mali, 2009, 60 minutes, Color, DVD, Bambara, French, English subtitles
Order No. W09974
Mrs. Goundo is fighting to remain in the United States. But it’s not just because of the ethnic conflict and drought that has plagued her native Mali. Threatened with deportation, her two-year-old daughter could be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), like 85 percent of women and girls in Mali. Using rarely cited grounds for political asylum, Goundo must convince an immigration judge that her daughter is in danger.

Sensitive and moving, this important film reveals how women are profoundly affected by the legal struggles surrounding immigration. As issues of asylum, international law and human rights collide with FGM and its devastating health consequences, filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater travel between an FGM ceremony in a Malian village, where dozens of girls are involved, to the West African expatriate community of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Goundo challenges beliefs and battles the American legal system for her child’s future.


Winner, Best Social Documentary, 2011 Addis International Film Festival

  • Silverdocs Documentary Festival
  • New York Human Rights Watch International Film Festival
  • Urbanworld Film Festival
  • London Human Rights Watch International Film Festival

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    "An invaluable teaching tool…A 'must-see' for women's rights, human rights, and immigration law teachers, lawyers, students, and organizers.”
    Hope Lewis
    Professor of Law, Northeastern University

    “Eye-opening...Examines both sides of the issue without judgment or condescension by letting those closest to the subject matter do the talking.”
    New York Magazine

    “Very moving…Sure to generate dialogue and debate both on FGM and current immigration policy. A must-have documentary relevant for a range of disciplines and classes.”
    Beverly A. Mcphail, Ph.D.
    Dir., Women’s Resource Center, University of Houston

    “Packs a sharp punch equal to that of films twice its length…. The filmmakers seamlessly weave together parallel storylines….. the soul-sickening footage of anxious-eyed little Malian girls post-excision that makes Mrs. Goundo's point more succinctly than words ever could.”
    Chris Barsanti

    “Gracefully depicted and painstakingly observed.”
    SILVERDOCS AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Film Festival New York Magazine

    “The filmmakers skillfully interweave the legal case, interviews with ‘excisers’ in Mali, and candid discussions with Mrs. Goundo and her Malian girlfriends.”
    Maria Garcia
    Film Journal International

    “Heart-wrenching testament to the integrity and solidarity of women in the face of staggering adversity…. humanist filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater demonstrate a nerve-shredding talent for cinematic juxtaposition… that avoids feeling trivial.”
    Ed Gonzalez
    The Village Voice

    "...it is the best film I have seen on the subject of female genital cutting (FGC), presenting different sides of this controversial issue starkly and sensitively."
    Films for the Feminist Classroom

    “…a strong addition to classes in law, immigration, human rights, women's rights, and globalization.”
    Elizabeth Reis
    Films for the Feminist Classroom

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    Mrs. Goundo's Daughter is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us