the cut

  • The Cut is a short documentary about Mary (14 years old) and Alice (early 20’s) from Kenya. Both are affected by the traditional rite of passage into womanhood: genital cutting.
  • Mary and her community are preparing for her ceremonial cutting.
  • Alice is studying to be a social worker to work against female genital mutilation. As the first in her community to refuse the practice, she has paid a high price for her choice to break with tradition.
  • Alice tells of the different myths she encounters in the community around her, as to why circumcision is practiced. Mary, on the other hand, has no voice. She just goes through the preparations and rituals in silence … (Homepage 1/2).

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Homepage 2/2 … /Synopsis, with an automatic PowerPoint running: the cut explained in the following pictures:  

  • short synopsis: “The Cut” is a short documentary about Mary (14 years old) and Alice (early 20’s) from Kenya. Both are affected by the traditional rite of passage into womanhood: genital cutting;
  • Alice: Alice is in her mid 20’s. She is the first in her community to refuse cutting. Her decision has cost her her marriage and her community keeps a close watch on her. Many condemn her for not giving in to tradition. Tradition is unquestionable, according to most around her;
  • shaving her head: One of the traditions in Mary’s community is to shave the hair of the girl who is to be cut, and to do the same with the mother. This is repeated several times in the days before the cutting;
  • preparing the celebration: Men are often not permitted to participate in the preparations with the women. They have their own celebrations, which include drinking the blood from a warm carcasses;
  • face painting: Men have their own rituals to observe;
  • the celebration: Youth gathered to celebrate that some of the local girls have been circumcised. The newly cut girls dance and flirt with the young boys their age for the last time. These girls will soon be married off to men three to four times their age;
  • the circumcisers: Many women make their living as circumcisers. They are proud of their trade.
  • new cut girl: Newly cut girls are often very visible, due to ornaments and facial painting. This is a signal to the world around that this girl no longer is a child, but a woman. As a woman, she is ready for marriage;
  • rituals of blood: Blood is shed and consumed several times as a part of the rituals before and after the cutting ceremony;
  • young girls: Every day, 6000 girls are cut. The girls range in age mainly from 10 to 15, but in some cultures girls as young as 3 – 4 months old are cut.

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