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Tuesday, October 13, 2009

"L'appel de Diegoune" at the Geneva Film Festival

Geneva, October 9, 2009

L’Appel de Diégoune, directed by Marc Decosse and Eric Dagostino, tells the story of a campaign to end the practice of female genital cutting in Senegal, and one village’s decision to abandon this tradition.

The 39-minute documentary consists of testimonies from an array of village members, from mothers and fathers to the local physician and the village chief, explaining why they have decided to take this decision. The movie, screened in support of the Millenium Goal of improving maternal health, was overwhelmingly hopeful in its message of improving lives through education (in this case around the negative effects of female cutting, or female genital mutilation-FGM) and in portraying the success of this campaign.

Over 90 villages announced they were abandoning FGM following the campaign undertaken in 2008 by an organization named “Tostan” or Breakthrough, in the Wolof language. A breakthrough indeed. The short film, which was focused on individual testimonies, did not address the hard work that such an educational program must entail. However, a representative from Tostan was on hand to answer questions during the post-movie discussion.