The Day I Will Never Forget

    • Kim Longinotto
    • England
    • 2002
    • 92 min
    • IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary
    After the eulogised documentary Divorce Iranian Style, about the laborious divorce procedure for Iranian women, and Runaway, about a shelter for runaway girls in Teheran, Kim Longinotto travelled to Nairobi, Kenya, where the circumcision of women is an everyday affair. She was even allowed into a messy room where an elderly woman circumcised two resisting, agonisingly groaning girls. The women who are introduced in this confronting, enlightening documentary do not mince their words and talk uneuphemistically about circumcision. The group discussions are very fierce: many women do not feel like having sex anymore, another one feels that you should liberate yourself from “that dirty thing”, so women will not sleep around anymore. The elderly woman that carries out the circumcisions explains in detail how it works (“you must leave the root, otherwise it will bleed too much”) and prides herself in being very happy after each operation. The men are very relaxed about it: it is a tradition that goes back to the idea that every human being is born with a female and a male sexual organ, and is only clean when one of the two has been removed. Longinotto also followed a nurse who opposes this belief. With sharp questions, she shatters the fallacies and proceeds to convince husbands, fathers and mothers of the right of self-determination. But for the time being, only a handful of brave boys and girls bring their parents to trial.

    Credits

    • 92 min
    • color
    • 35mm
    • Spoken languages: Somali, Swahili, English, Maasai
    Director
    Kim Longinotto
    Production
    Kim Longinotto for Vixen Films
    Cinematography
    Kim Longinotto
    Editing
    Andrew Willsmore
    Sound
    Mary Milton

    IDFA history

    2002
    Screened
    IDFA Competition for Feature-Length Documentary

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    IDFA history

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