Jaha’s Promise from Irish filmmakers Patrick Farrelly and Kate O’Callaghan tells the story of a young woman who having been brutalized by her country’s customs returns home determined to change the society that almost destroyed her. In The Gambia in West Africa Jaha Dukureh underwent female genital mutilation (FGM) as a baby and was brought to New York when she was 15 to marry a man she’d never met before.
Jaha’s Promise premieres at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh on July 13th.
The film takes us on an extraordinary journey from West Africa to the streets of New York and back again. The film is a gripping story of a young woman seeking justice from her family, her culture, and ultimately a dictatorial government.
FGM is practiced in 30 countries in Africa, the Middle East and Asia. It is estimated that over 200 million woman live with consequences of the practice and on average over 6000 girls are undergo FGM every day.
Jaha Dukureh is now the leader of an Africa-wide youth movement against FGM and child marriage. Plans are already underway for the film to be distributed in parts of Africa where FGM and child marriage are prevalent. In the autumn Jaha will be touring the film around her native Gambia — and showing it in villages and towns using a screen and projector that’s attached to van that she has painted pink.
Jaha’s Promise is a co-production between Farrelly and O’Callaghan’s Accidental Pictures and the Guardian Newspaper and was part-funded by the Human Dignity Foundation.
The film’s Executive Producer is Maggie O’Kane, the award-winning former RTE and Guardian reporter, whose campaigning work on FGM has evolved into the Global Media Campaign against the practice. The Global Media Campaign are working with the film makers to have the film show across Africa. “We want this film to be seen in every village where FGM is practiced where I believe it will play a big part in persuading people to stop cutting their girls,” says O’Kane.
Following the screening at the Fleadh the film makers will take part in discussion about the documentary that will be hosted by RTE’s Marian Finucane. Earlier this year Jaha Dukureh was interviewed by Finucane for her radio programme. You can listen to the interview here: www.rte.ie/radio1/marian-
Jaha’s Promise, The Town Hall Theatre, July 13th at 2 p.m.