RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “MRS. GOUNDO’S DAUGHTER” Co-Production of ATTIE & GOLDWATER Productions Inc., The Independent Television Service (ITVS), The Corporation For Public Broadcasting (CPB), Distributed by Women Make Movies, Produced and Directed by BARBARA ATTIE and JANET GOLDWATER, Co-Producer & Editor SABRINA GORDON (2009, 60 min)

WHEN: Sunday May 8, 2011  1:15 pm

WHERE: Community Church NY, Gallery Room 28 East 35th St. bet. Park & Madison Aves. 

ADMISSION: Free, donations appreciated






Come early and enjoy video selections from “A Tribute To Mothers” by GIWAYEN MATA the “all sistah” African  Dance, percussion, and Vocal ensemble.

-Light refreshments will be served-

MRS. GOUNDO'S DAUGHTER is the story of a young mother's quest to keep her baby daughter healthy and whole. It is also the story of the African tradition of female genital cutting, which dates back thousands of years—and how it affects people's lives in just two of the many places where the practice is being debated today.

Mrs. Goundo's husband fled drought and ethnic conflict in his native Mali, West Africa sixteen years ago. Mrs. Goundo came to the United States in 1999. Together, they are raising three young children in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

To stay in the U.S., Mrs. Goundo must persuade an immigration judge that her two-year old daughter Djenebou, born in the U.S., will almost certainly suffer clitoral excision if Goundo is deported. In Mali, where up to 85% of women and girls are excised, Mrs. Goundo and her husband are convinced they would be powerless to protect their daughter from her well-intentioned grandparents, who believe all girls should be excised.

The film bridges Mrs. Goundo's two worlds. In a Malian village, we see 62 girls, six months to ten years old, preparing to be excised just as their mothers, sisters, aunts and grandmothers were before them. The girls are warned they must be brave and not cry, although, as one mother tells us: "The pain is very deep. There is nothing we can do to lessen it." We hear Malian activists fighting to end the practice, and traditionalists who defend it. We see its deep roots in the largely Islamic culture.

4,500 miles away in Philadelphia, we hear Mrs. Goundo's friends from West Africa tell how, even though they themselves were excised, they are determined to save their daughters from the pain and the sometimes horrific health consequences of ritual cutting. Mrs. Goundo is the first of her community to seek asylum on these grounds, and in MRS. GOUNDO'S DAUGHTER we join her friends' anxious vigil as they await the outcome of her asylum hearing.

Sensitive and moving, this important film reveals how women are profoundly affected by the legal struggles surrounding immigration. As issues of asylum, international law and human rights collide with Female Genital Mutilation and its devastating health consequences, filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater travel between an FGM ceremony in a Malian village, where dozens of girls are involved, to the West African expatriate community of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Goundo challenges beliefs and battles the American legal system for her child’s future.







Our Guest SABRINA SCHMIDT GORDON has been committed to cultural and social issues documentary filmmaking for over a decade. She is the co-producer and editor of Mrs. Goundo's Daughter, a Sundance Institute/ ITVS documentary. Her editing debut garnered an Emmy for WGBH's Greater Boston Arts series. Sabrina's commitment to social justice extends to creating video for nonprofits, and fostering partnerships between filmmakers and activists. She is the founder of The Engage Media Project, a resource for filmmakers, educators and activists to partner, share information and create engagement and educational outreach campaigns 



BARBARA ATTIE and JANET GOLDWATER have worked collaboratively since 1990 making widely acclaimed documentaries that have been broadcast nationally and internationally. In 2005 the Philadelphia-based filmmakers were awarded the prestigious Pew Fellowship in the Arts. Before MRS. GOUNDO’S DAUGHTER they collaborated on ROSITA (2005), the story of a 9-year-old Nicaraguan girl who was raped and made pregnant, and her parents' struggle with the medical establishment, the government and the church to end her pregnancy.