In Search...

  • Beryl Magoko
  • Germany, Kenya
  • 2018
  • 90 min
  • International Premiere
  • IDFA Competition for Student Documentary
Artboard Copy 2 Created with Sketch. Share

It’s not the subject of the film, but it does raise the question: why do mothers allow their daughters to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM)? The Kenyan director Beryl Magoko, who now lives in Germany, gave into peer pressure and chose to be “circumcised” as a young girl. She thought it was simply a rite of passage, but why did nobody tell her how painful and humiliating it would be? Now she knows that reconstructive surgery is a possibility, but she’s unsure whether this is her opportunity to feel complete again. Perhaps she would be making another terrible mistake.

She holds frank discussions with other women who have undergone FGM, revealing its far-reaching consequences. The damage isn’t only physical, but survivors also suffer from complex emotional and relationship problems. Instead of using voice-over to talk about her past and her uncertainties about the future, Magoko shares her innermost feelings directly with the women. In the process, we see how supportive of each other women can actually be. Meanwhile, Magoko’s conversations with her mother in Kenya also give cause for hope.


  • 90 min
  • color
  • DCP
  • Spoken languages: English, German, Swahili
  • Subtitles in: English
Beryl Magoko
Ute Dilger for Academy of Media Arts Cologne
Executive producer
Beryl Magoko, Jule Katinka Cramer
Jule Katinka Cramer
Fani Schoinopoulou
Created with Sketch. Show all credits

IDFA history

International Premiere
IDFA Competition for Student Documentary

Share this film

Artboard Copy 2 Created with Sketch. Share

IDFA history