Threatened with deportation, Mrs. Goundo must convince an immigration judge that her two-year-old daughter is in danger: if returned to her family’s native country of Mali, she will be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM).
Mrs. Goundo is fighting to remain in the United States. But it’s not just because of the ethnic conflict and drought that has plagued her native Mali. Threatened with deportation, her two-year-old daughter could be forced to undergo female genital mutilation (FGM), like 85 percent of women and girls in Mali. Using rarely cited grounds for political asylum, Goundo must convince an immigration judge that her daughter is in danger.
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 FGM and its devastating health consequences, filmmakers Barbara Attie and Janet Goldwater travel between an FGM ceremony in a Malian village involving dozens of girls to the West African expatriate community of Philadelphia, where Mrs. Goundo challenges beliefs and battles the American legal system for her child’s future.