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Africa Rising
The Grassroots Movement to End Female Genital Mutilation
A film by Paula Heredia, Produced by Equality Now
Kenya/Mali/Somalia/Tanzania, 2009, 62 minutes, Color, DVD, English/French/Somali/Swahili
Order No. W09980
Every day, 6,000 girls from the Horn of Africa to sub-Saharan nations are subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). With fierce determination and deep love for their communities, brave African activists are leading a formidable, fearless grassroots movement to end 5,000 years of FGM. An insightful look at the frontlines of a quiet revolution taking the continent by storm, this extraordinarily powerful film is one of the first to focus on African solutions to FGM.

Beautifully directed by Emmy Award® winner Paula Heredia and produced by Equality Now, AFRICA RISING travels through remote villages in Burkina Faso, Kenya, Mali, Somalia and Tanzania. Weaving together dynamic footage and the poignant stories of girls personally affected by FGM, it shows how African women and men are putting an end to this human rights violation. Convincing circumcisers to lay down their knives, engaging the police to implement the law, and honing leadership skills in girls, these determined activists have been working tirelessly for years to conceptualize their campaign. AFRICA RISING paints an intimate portrait of the broadly-based but little-known anti-FGM movement and shows that courageous, creative and resourceful individuals can change the course of history.


Screened at the United Nations Assocation Film Festival, Monterey Bay on 11/06/2010



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS

  • Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou (FESPACO)
  • Zanzibar International Film Festival
  • Reel Sisters of the Diaspora Film Festival
  • Kenya International Film Festival
  • Brilliant Light International Film Festival
  • International Film Festival Egypt

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QUOTES

    “Stunningly honest, soberingly frank…An unparalleled window into the ‘business of FGM’ – of the cultural and economic pressures brought to bear on the girls who are cut, and the cutters themselves. And yet, woven throughout is the hope and a vision of a world free from FGM.”
    Tamera Gugelmeyer
    Executive Dir., The Sisterhood is Global Institute

    “Reveals a sense of hope, demonstrating that FGM is not an acceptable cultural practice, and that a people, culture, religion or nation cannot and will not allow themselves to be defined by pain, cruelty, and destruction.”
    Kate Schaab
    Asst. Dir., Women's Resource Center, Northern Illinois University

    "Portrays voices rising across the continent to question and challenge the controversial, puzzling issues of FGM. Beautifully filmed...A well-informed [and] remarkable cross-cultural collaboration depicting courage and hope to awaken the deafening silence surrounding this taboo subject."
    Glen P. Davis, MD
    Dept. of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, New York University School of Medicine

    “An inspiring and hopeful film. Despite the deep sadness I felt for these girls, the good news is that the grassroots movement is strong and leading the global fight against female genital mutilation to save each and every girl.”
    Edwidge Danticat
    Author

    "Recommended...effective in making viewers aware of the positive impact of the hard work of African activists in eradicating FGM."
    Educational Media Reviews Online

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    Africa Rising is included in the following Special Collections.
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RELATED LINKS

    Africa Rising Website
    View a photo gallery and learn more about the featured activists in the film.

    Equality Now Campaign Against FGM

    World Health Organization
    Get the facts on FGM: the cultural and religious background, the health consequences, and the efforts to combat a practice that has affected over 140 million women and girls worldwide.

    Razor’s Edge
    Read harrowing personal accounts by young victims and a woman who wielded the knife because, she explains, “Satan was stronger than me”; watch a short film on FGM; download a report by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

    UNFPA
    Learn how the UN Population Fund plans to end this persistent violation of the human rights of girls and women in one generation.

    Galkayo Education Center
    Go inside a Somalian education center that promotes human rights and literacy and opposes FGM.

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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections MUSLIM: Behind the Veil, BODY IMAGE: Women & Young Girls, and AFRICA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

Deep discounts are available when you purchase multiple films. More details.



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