New film highlights dangers of Female Genital Mutilation

Genital mutilation: Photo used to illustrate the story

The dangers of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) was showcased at Genesis Cinemas, Abuja, in a film entitled `Alero’, which evoked deep emotions from the audience.

`Alero’ tells the story of a young girl who was circumcised by her parents as part of the custom of their village.

The film, watched by a select audience, mirrored the physical and psychological effects she had to endure as she underwent the crude “surgery’’.

The Executive Producer, Dorothy Njemanze, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in an interview that the film was part of activities to commemorate the International Day for Zero Tolerance for FGM.

Ms. Njemanze said that the essence of the film was to use visual medium, especially motion pictures, to highlight the dangers involved FGM practice and to debunk the notion that only takes place in rural areas.

“FGM takes place rampantly in urban areas, contrary to popular opinion, as people call these ‘surgeons’ from the villages to the cities and towns to circumcise their girls.’’

She told NAN that the film was produced in line with international standard with the help of FilmCorp Advocacy Films.

According to her, the film can be viewed on international movie sharing platforms such as Netflix.

The lead actress, Joy Otaro, who played ‘Alero’, told NAN that acting in the movie opened her eyes to the realities of FGM and enabled her to appreciate the horrors women who were cut faced.

Ms. Otaro urged young people to be actively involved in the campaign against FGM in order to fully eradicate the menace from the cultural system.

NAN reports that the screening of the film also featured a panel discussion on the history of FGM, its scope and health implications.

The panel comprised Eleanor Nwadinobi, a medical consultant, Bem Alugh, a representative of the Ministry of Education, and Edosa Oviawe, an employee of Ipas Nigeria, an NGO that works to increase women’s access to vital reproductive health care.

A member of the audience, Jane Maduka, commended the cast and crew for the innovative film, especially its ability to pass the message and evoke lots of emotions from the audience.

She expressed the hope that use of films would enable the younger generation to see the need to join in the crusade against FGM.

NAN also reports that the film is a collaborative work between FilmCorp Advocacy Films and Dorothy Njemanze Foundation, an NGO, dedicated to sensitising the public on how to deal with all forms of abuse.

‘Alero’ was written and directed by Lummie Edevbie and stars Ada Ameh, Dorothy Njemanze, AIK Odiase, Efosa Ebeye and Joy Otaro, the titular character.

Copies of the Simplified Version of The Violence against Persons (Prohibition) Act were also distributed to the audience.


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