Uncut

country, year
Italy, 2016

genre
short documentary

running time
20′

directed by
Emanuela Zuccalà, Simona Ghizzoni

language
Somalo, Masai, Pokot, Kiswahili, Oromo

subtitles
Slovene, English

synopsis

An ordinary room or a dark hut in a rural village. A razor blade bought at a market will suffice or a sharp knife or simply a shard of broken glass. The women of the family restrain the little girl, while a circumciser is paid to inflict her a pain so intense that it will never be forgotten. For over 200 million women around the world, the passage from infancy to adulthood is marked by the blood of female genital mutilation (FGM).The procedure comprises cutting the clitoris, sometimes scraping away the labia minora, up to the removal of all the external genitalia and sewing the incision closed leaving a small hole for menstrual flow and urine, which will later be cut open on the wedding night. An obligatory ritual in certain societies, it is believed to “purify” women from their own femininity, subjugating them through pain and making them virgins for life, resistant to sexual pleasure, and therefore – the main aim, usually – shaping them as devoted and faithful wives. It is a traditional practice, untied from any religion, which has meanings and consequences in women’s submission, early forced marriage, girls’ school drop-outs and women’s exclusion from the social and economic life, causing a vicious cycle of under-development. According to UNICEF, the victims of the ritual “cut” are concentrated in 30 countries, of which 27 are in Africa. The European Parliament estimates that in the EU around 500,000 migrant women are affected by a wound that has severe health consequences. UNCUT is a documentary movie that investigates the topic of female genital mutilations in-depth, narrating how in three African countries – Somaliland, Kenya and Ethiopia – women have been uniting in coalitions to eradicate this harmful practice, often paying a high price for the courage to speak out in deeply patriarchal societies. It is a collective story that sews together several tales of pain, of hard fights for women’s rights and, in many cases, of success and empowerment.

about the authors

Emanuela Zuccalà is a journalist, writer and videomaker whose work is focused on women’s issues and human rights. Since 2001 she has been contributing for Io donna, the Saturday magazine of Corriere della Sera, reporting from more than 30 countries. She is the author of 7 books published in Italy, Portugal, Brazil and Poland and she has been awarded several journalism prizes, as the For Diversity-Against Discrimination Award of the European Commission (2007) and the Press Freedom Award of Reporters Sans Frontières Austria (2012). Filmography: Miss Kilimanjaro (2014, director); Just to Let You Know that I’m Alive (2013, co-director with Simona Ghizzoni); I love Mali (2013, director); No Country for Young Men (2011, director); Girls from Yeoville (2011, director); Welcome to Halden Prison (2011, co-director with Gughi Fassino); My Beauty Is Dead to You (2010, producer and co-director with Simona Ghizzoni).

Simona Ghizzoni is a photographer and a videomaker. In 202 she graduated from  the Istituto Superiore di Arti Visive e Fotografia in Padua. She went on to receive master’s degree in the history of photography from the University of Bologna in 2007 with a thesis on the history of psychiatric photography. Since 2005 Simona has committed herself to photo-reportage with particular attention to the condition of women, as well as working on her own personal research projects. Her work has received many awards and has been shown in numerous exhibitions. Filmography: Just to Let You Know that I’m Alive (2013, co-director with Emanuela Zuccalà); My Beauty Is Dead to You (2010, producer and co-director with Emanuela Zuccalà); Lie in Wait (2010).

festivals

Special mention at Festival Internazionale del documentario Visioni dal mondo, Milan 2016.