A drama-documentary made by 27 young women who attend schools in the Bristol area. Its primary aim is to persuade the communities that the practice of female genital mutilation (FGM) must stop. Over 20,000 girls could be at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in the UK.
FGM is illegal in the UK and most other countries, including Egypt and Somalia. As well as the extreme pain involved, victims commonly suffer psychological and emotional trauma. Medical complications can include urinary infections, kidney failure, sterility and death.
Silent Scream is a film about Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) made by young women in Bristol with the support of Integrate Bristol and Zed Productions.
Following the success of radio docu-drama, “WHY”, the young women felt they had gained the confidence and experience to make a short film on this sensitive and traditionally taboo topic.
Watch the trailer here
The impetus for making this film came from the young women themselves. The project ran over five months and the young film makers worked after school, at weekends and in the school holidays to develop a story, adapt it to script then learn the skills necessary to take on all the roles involved in production. For the documentary part of the film the young women interviewed, among others, Chief Detective Inspector David McCallum, Dr Comfort Momoh MBE, Dr Sheikh Abdalla Yassin OBE and a mother who wishes to remain anonymous but whose heartrending personal story is a defining element in the film. They were taught and mentored by professionals from the media industry and supported by women from the community.
What is FGM? Watch the full length FGM film Silent Scream here.
The young women involved showed outstanding courage and determination in addressing this issue and it is hoped their film will make an ongoing contribution to raising awareness and stopping the practice once and for all. They have been awarded a commendation from the police and have been nominated for several other awards.
More about this project
- You can find out more about FGM here: www.nspcc.org.uk.
- In the news: “Challenging subject for student film”, Bristol Evening Post on 30/06/2011.
- The film was premiered to a full house at the Watershed Cinema in Bristol on 30th June 2011.
I was delighted to learn of this work. As the MP for Bristol East from 1992 to 2005 I saw a dramatic rise in the migration to Bristol of large numbers of people from cultures where FGM was said to be routinely practised, thought I could not find many points of information at that time. So I applaud what these young people are doing: it is brave and important work and they will give hope and courage to others who have been or are at risk of being affected.
Of course I support and applaud their work. Congratulations to them! FGM is a terrible thing and many of us have raised it in Parliament. However, the authorities do not seem to be able to make any convictions stick, mainly due to the silence of the community.
Thank you for drawing this to my attention. This is a very brave attempt by the girls to produce this film. I very much hope that this short film will draw much needed attention to this dreadful practice and encourage challenge.
I give you my support for the work you are doing.
I congratulate the project and the young women who have taken a stand against this unacceptable practice.
Congratulations for the work you are doing on this fearful practice which causes so much agony and morbidity to young women. The All Party Group which I now chair (Population Development and Reproductive Health) did a series of hearings and produced a report on the subject about ten years ago and the law has changed in the UK to make it a crime to facilitate this practice OR to take a girl abroad for it to be carried out. The trouble is, there has not been a single prosecution, even though we know it still happens in the UK. Many NGOs like Marie Stopes International also have programmes to try to eradicate FGM, but it persists (the old women being the main group who promote it) I am sure you know all this but I just wanted to reassure you that we are very concerned in parliament that this practise should cease world wide.
Many congratulations on what sounds like an excellent initiative. May I offer my best wishes to all the young people who have drawn attention to such an important issue and who have challenged the notion that we should remain silent about fgm which causes such terrible suffering.