Followed by a conversation with the Filmmaker/ Actress/ Writer Ebbe Bassey
“Mending Fences is the story of a young American girl of African descent who lives in Harlem with her HIV positive father and his same-sex partner, and who becomes a victim of FGM. In countries throughout Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia at least 2 million girls every year— 6,000 each day— have their genitals mutilated. Because of the nature of this problem, it is an extremely difficult subject to discuss. Addressing the problem directly is further complicated by the cultural and social traditions that it arises from. We believe that not enough is being done to overcome the obstacles to solving this horrific problem, and that the first step is to put the problem in front of audiences carefully, compellingly, and unapologetically, with a voice and vision that honors human dignity. Mending Fences puts a familiar face on a human rights crisis that too often goes unseen in western countries. Mending Fences will take an issue that is poorly understood, is seen as distant and dismissible, and that makes people confused and uncomfortable, and translate it into a document of a crisis that is immediate and ongoing, that is relevant to our lives, and that needs our attention and our action."
"Our film speaks about violence against women and girls, it speaks about the rights of Gay and Lesbian parents, it speaks to the conflict of culture between immigrant and native-born Americans, it speaks about tolerance and intolerance, it speaks about love and family, and most importantly, our film speaks about our shared human experience, and how that connection creates our shared responsibilities to one another. Filmmakers can have a voice that speaks to international issues in the language of the local and familiar. The rights of women and girls around the world to live free of ritualized violence against their bodies has implications that reach into the heart of how we define ourselves as a free and progressive democracy. Our stories, how we choose to tell them, and which stories we choose to tell, defines the culture that defines who we are. Our film will give a voice to girls and women that currently go unspoken for and unrepresented in our culture.”