Immigrants from Africa who actually live in Spain speak openly about the ritual of female genital mutilation. Their opposed opinions and realities, reveal the complexity of this controversial issue, in which the limits of human rights and cultural heritage are intersected.
About Christina Pitouli
Christina Pitouli was born in Greece in 1986. She studied journalism at the Panteion University of Athens and holds a Master’s in the Theory and Practice of Creative Documentary Making from the Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB). Since 2012, Christina has been living between Greece and Spain, where she works as a freelance documentary filmmaker, production manager and sound recordist. She has directed a number of documentary shorts, all focusing primarily on gender and social issues. Her film, Bref, which looks at female genital mutilation, has screened in more than 20 festivals around the world. The film was awarded “Best Documentary on Women’s Rights” at the Malaga Film Festival and “Best Social Documentary” at the Aegean Docs Film Festival. In 2015 she worked with the Colombian director, Jorge Caballero, on the Interactive Web Documentary, Impaciente, part of the award-winning transmedia documentary project, Paciente. She also conducts workshops on documentary filmmaking and sound.
Doing this film was of big importance for me, as a director and as a woman. My intention from the very beginning was to avoid any simplified vision of the issue, and try to undestrand and reveal its complexed nature. For that reason I tried to leave my western way of thinking aside and to offer the protagonists the time and the space to talk about the issue openly, without feeling judged. Them, immigrants from Africa, coming from tribes that practice female genital mutilation to every girl, are actually living in Spain, in Europe, where this practice is illegal and it’s considered a clear violation of the human rights. They are in the center of the debate of two different cultures, and through their thoughts and experiences we can have a glimpse on today’s situation, on the numerous factors that are involved and on the social forces that make this issue continue for so long.