Monday’s Girls

A film by Ngozi Onwurah

England | 1993 | 50 minutes | Color | DVD | Subtitled | Order No. 99049


This fascinating documentary, by the filmmaker of THE BODY BEAUTIFUL, follows two young Nigerian women’s different experiences of a traditional rite of passage. Young virgins, irabo, spend five weeks in “fattening rooms”, emerging to dance before the villagers and to be married. The girls wear heavy copper coils on their legs to enforce inactivity as they are waited on and honored by their families. One of the young village women, Florence, is keen to take part. But Akisiye, who returns from the city at her father’s behest, is not certain she wants to. Combining voice-over and interviews, MONDAY'S GIRLS documents tradition, modernity, dissent and contradiction in African women’s lives.


“A daring look at the negotiation of multiple issues of gendered identities, individual versus communal voices, traditions versus modernity.”

Maureen Eke Central Michigan University


Ngozi Onwurah

Black British filmmaker Ngozi Onwurah takes on the issues of time and space in her work which embraces heterogeneity and multiple sites of subjectivity. Onwurah consistently navigates and challenges the limits of narrative and ethnographic cinema by insisting that the body is the central landscape of an anti-imperialist cinematic discourse.

An accomplished director with several episodes of the top British TV drama series "Heartbeat" to her credit, Ngozi Onwurah also wrote and directed the prize-winning feature "Welcome II the Terrordome." Sometimes fierce and at others more gently humorous, Onwurah tackles the clashes and ironies of the apparent gulf separating black and white, whilst showing that under the skin, emotions are universal.

Onwurah’s films have won prizes at the Berlin Film Festival, Germany; Melbourne Film Festival, Australia; Toronto Film Festival, Canada; and at NBPC, USA. (09/09)


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