A film by Kim Longinotto, who has been making feminist ethnographical documentaries all over the world, The Day I Will Never Forget documents the traditions of female circumcision and marriage of various tribes in Kenya. It shows how androcentrism is connected with local traditions, conventions, and institutions of matrimony and family, and also how repressive that connection can be to the bodies and souls of women. The detailed and prolonged scene where two girls are being circumcised-lasting about 10 minutes-leads the audience to a painful and shocking awakening.
Most of all, the film is about the girls’ struggles against such institutions and traditions through ‘the politics of testimonies and recollections’. The film’s title comes from a poem by a girl determined not to forget the horrible pain of circumcision. One Masai girl leaves home as her mother forces her to marry a much older man, and other girls bring a collective lawsuit against their parents for forcing them to be circumcised. The most devastating aspect of the female circumcision tradition is that it is exercised by other women, including the victim’s own mothers. However, the women of the younger generation who have begun to question and resist those repressive traditions are ready to reconcile with their mothers, who are yet other victims of the male-dominated tradition. (Kwon Eun-sun)
Kim LONGINOTTOKim LONGINOTTO
One of the foremost documentary filmmakers working today, Kim LONGINOTTO is renowned internationally for her compelling human portraits and her sensitive and compassionate treatment of unknown topics. Her films have won international acclaim, including the World Cinema Jury Prize in Documentary at Sundance Film Festival for Rough Aunties . Highlights include perhaps one of her best known works, Sisters in Law(2005), winner of a 2008 Peabody Award and two Cannes Awards; Pink Saris (2010) won Sepecial Jury Prize in Sheffield Doc Fest.