The Day I Will Never Forget, that won the Amnesty International-DOEN Award at last year’s IDFA, is a eye-opening documentary film in which Kenyan women freely talk about their circumcision. Some despise this tradition, whereas other defend it as Allah’s blessing.
In passionate group discussions, some go as far as saying that women should get rid of ‘that dirty thing’ in order to dissuade adultery. Director Kim Longinotto gets access to an untidy room in which an elderly woman is busy mutilating the genitals of two struggling and distressingly moaning girls. The woman proudly explains how a circumcision is practiced and how satisfied she is after every operation. The men, for their part, have no objections whatsoever: it’s tradition, after all. The Day I Will Never Forget also follows a nurse who tries to raise awareness among husbands, fathers and mothers of the right to self-determination. However, for the time being, only a handful of boys and girls dare take their parents to court.
British filmmaker Kim Longinotto (London, 1952) strongly feels it is her duty to denounce injustice, treating controversial topics with sensitivity and empathy. Her films show ordinary women engaged in extraordinary efforts to put an end to sex stereotyping.