Movies and Books About Female Genital Cutting and Mutilation

Girl looking at the camera

Reading up on or watching movies about female genital mutilation and those who have experienced it is a great way to become familiar with the subject, which seems very foreign to many people. So watch, read or better yet host a movie screening or book reading featuring some of these choices!

Books:

Do They Hear You When You Cry by Fauziya Kassindja: An account of the author’s childhood in a small West African village and the course her life took after her father, who was against FGM, died and left her victim to the procedure. She tried to flee the country but was met with a true immigration nightmare in the U.S. Many women apply for asylum in the U.S. and Europe to escape FGM but experience unending problems.

Infidel by Ayaan Hirsi Ali: Hirsi Ali is a Somali-born member of the Dutch parliament who faced death threats after she worked on a film about domestic violence against Muslim women. She was subjected to genital mutilation and forced into marriage and she has dedicated her life to bring awareness to the cultural issues that shaped her past.

STOP Female Genital Mutilation: Women Speak Facts and Actions by Fran B. Hosken: The book covers health facts and gives a good overview of FGM.

The Rape of Innocence: Female Genital Mutilation in the U.S.A. by Patricia Robinett, a Kansas-born victim of FGM.

Movies:

Fire Eyes (1994): Documentary directed by Soraya Mire, a Somalian woman who’s undergone FGM as a young girl.

A Cruel Ritual(1991): Focuses on Eastern African refugee groups in the UK and a group of women who experienced the severe form of FGM.

Another Form of Abuse (1992): Focuses on FGM in England.

Dabla! Excison (2003): Focuses on FGM in Africa.

FGM in Egypt (1994): Draws from CNN coverage of the issue in the region.

On Their Own (Reham’s Story) (2001): Follows a young educated Muslim, whose mother insisted she gets circumcised. The film tells the stories of Reham’s circumcision and how she became awareness about the practice.

Pourquoi Donc L’Excision/Why Excision: English subtitles, educational video funded by the Research Action Information Network for Bodily Integrity of Women.

Rights of Passage: A UNICEF-sponsored documentary which follows four young women’s survival.

Rites: Released by BBC and includes interviews with women who have been subjected to FGM and who talk about the psychological and medical aftermath.

Sharifa’s Three Wishes: About a grandmother’s wish for her youngest granddaughter to be circumcised and her fears about what will happen if her granddaughter remains uncircumcised. The old woman believes an uncircumcised girl will be cursed by her ancestors