Immigrants from Africa who now 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 the Filmmaker
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 lives 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.
More from the Filmmaker
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 understand and reveal its complex nature. For that reason, I tried to put 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, the immigrants from Africa, coming from tribes that practice female genital mutilation on every girl, are actually living in Spain, in Europe, where this practice is illegal and considered a clear violation of human rights. They are at the center of a debate of two different cultures, and through their thoughts and experiences, we 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.