The fight against the age-old female genital mutilation otherwise known as FGM has reached a new front in the Gambia, with Gambian filmmaker Prince Bubacarr Aminata Sankanu on Saturday launching “Bleeding Blade” at Gamcotrap Hall in Kanifing.
A good number of fans, including some dignitaries, stormed the hall, which seemed to be far too small for the cinematographic event.
“We are here today to show solidarity to Bubacarr Sankanu who has taken responsibility to protect the girl from harmful traditional practices,” said Gamcotrap acting Executive Director Mary Small.
The Germany-based Gambian filmmaker has completed the production of the film on September 10, 2017. The Bleeding Blade tells the story of a young a girl who found herself caught by the reality of FGM after his fiance made known his intention to marry her. The fiance’s family insisted that before they could accept the cola nuts, Sira Camara must be circumcised. The drama and infighting ensued leading to the demise of two people including the circumciser. Ultimately, the community decided to turn its back to an obsolete tradition.
Mary Small took the opportunity to plunge the audience into the decisive moment that punctuated the struggle of human rights activists against FGM. She reminded the gathering that the anti-FGM journey still continues despite the enactment of the law.
To many observers, the path taken by filmmaker Sankanu opens a new front in the fight against FGM as it would help to fast-track approach to eradicating the harmful traditional practice.
“It is a very good start. It has covered the whole gamut of gender-based violence when looking at girl education, early marriage, stereotypes and all these discriminatory practices,” the Gambia’s Trade Minister Dr. Isatou Touray, a leading gender activist, told this reporter after witnessing the premiere of ‘Bleeding Blade’.
Dr. Touray, who is a leading voice in the fight against FGM in Africa, said this type of film is raising issues affecting the younger generation.
She thanked Sankanu for having been consistent in the FGM fight. “I am not surprised that he has done a great job in producing this film,” Dr. Touray added.
FGM was outlawed in 2015 by the Gambia government but there is still resistance by some communities.
Giving his perspective about the film, Sankanu said the people identify themselves in the movie. “Basically, we are telling their stories. So, they identify themselves with the actors,” he said.
Sankanu said the film is far from being aggressive because it is just telling the stories of people. “They are excited when they see their stories being told in that way.”