CRUSHED WINGS ‒ to be released in 2021 ‒ is the first drama film of its kind on Female Mutilation – and is set to force our eyes open to the harsh reality of this brutal, increasingly widespread cultural ritual.
By Rhianne Hardman 2018 & updated by Amrita Tewari 2021.
Independent production company Cam Buddha Films is making waves in the industry with the introduction of their film Crushed Wings. Shot in hauntingly stunning locations across England, India and Nepal, this visually enchanting film follows the tragic journey of Ria growing up in a village somewhere in Asia, undergoing a brutal backstreet FGM procedure at age seven. Over 200 million women alive today have been forced to undergo this practise and the number of women dying as a result of mutilation is expected to increase significantly over the next 15 years. Based on the collective real-life experiences of survivors, the film boldly shines a spotlight on the realities of FGM and its consequences, forced marriage and honour killing at the hands of Ria’s community.
After discovering that no film had been made about the practice, even not in the million dollar industry of Bollywood, I knew my next feature had to tackle FGM – the team is headed by award-winning director and producer Lalit Bhusal who launched the project after carrying out extensive research that involved interviews with FGM survivors, as well as a trip to India to study the experiences within the Bohra community. On hearing about the suffering many girls endure as a result of cutting, Lalit set his sights on producing a film that would be a voice for these women, with the ultimate goal of challenging the outdated attitudes that keep the damaging tradition alive.
Behind the scenes, dozens of local and international artists have come on board to assist the project voluntarily. The cast features established and aspiring actors – Oznur Cifci takes the lead as Ria, delivering a spell-binding performance as the ill-fated heroine, alongside talented method actor Nisaro Karim who portrays Ria’s aggressive husband countering protective father Bhasker Patel, and co lead actress Tania Staite who emerges as guardian angel in Ria’s life. Hibo Wardere, a FGM survivor, activist and public speaker, also made a mentionable contribution to this film. Parts of the film will be used i.a. by the NHS for training purposes.
Soon the enticing scenes of this ground-breaking film can be viewed on VOD-platforms worldwide, hoping to raise awareness and to enhance the understanding on abusive cycles which have been passed on through generations, victimising millions of women even today.
A FEW FACTS AND FIGURES
At least 200 million girls and women alive today living in 30 countries have undergone FGM. There are an estimated 3 million girls at risk of undergoing FGM every year.
If trends continue, the number of females undergoing FGM will rise significantly over the next 15 years and so will the number of women and girls dying from this practice.
• “Did you know that FGM brings complications during child birth, often resulting in a caesarean section?”
• “Did you know that the cutting is carried out often with bold unsterilized objects and without any anaesthetics?”
• “Did you know that survivors cannot be examined vaginally during pregnancy, labour or ultrasounds?”
• “Did you know it doesn’t only happen in Africa, but also in Asian countries such as Pakistan, India, Malaysia, Indonesia and even in Nepal and Russia?”
• “Did you know that many of these countries have no law against FGM yet?”
• “Did you know that FGM has no direct link to any religion?”
CRUSHED WINGS ON SOCIAL MEDIA:
Crushed Wings Trailer: https://youtu.be/gBG0SnI3H9U
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