Copyright 1995 ABC-CLIO. This review was taken from the ABC-CLIO Video Rating Guide for Libraries on CD-ROM, a 5-year compilation of over 8900 video titles and reviews, 1990-1994. For information regarding order VRGL CD-ROM, contact: ABC-CLIO, P.O. Box 1911, Santa Barbara, CA 93116-1911; 805-968-1911

This following text has been included in the UCB Media Resources Center Web site with the kind permission of the publishers.

Warrior Marks

  • Rating: ***
  • Audience: College to Adult
  • Price: Public performance: $295.00
  • Date: Copyright 1993. Released 1993.
  • Descriptors: Walker, Alice (Warrior Marks). Human rights . Mutilation. Women.
  • Production Information: Live action. Produced by Alice Walker, Pratibha Parmar. Directed by Pratibha Parmar. Color. Also available in 3/4 inch, 16 mm. English, French. Subtitled. 54 min.
  • Available from: Women Make Movies 462 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10013 (212)925-0606
  • Cataloging: 392.1 Female circumcision||Women - Health and hygiene - Sociological aspects|| Documentary films
  • Print Entry #: 5:819
  • Reviewer: Marguerite Mroz

    Alice Walker's moving program Warrior Marks, which parallels her book of the same title, was made with Pratibha Parmar, an Indian /English producer. Together they explore the social and religious custom of female genital mutilation that is practiced on over 100 million women worldwide. The program opens with an African woman dancing in front of a large screen that shows pictures of Africa with many closeups of women and children. Throughout the video the dance continues interspersed with interviews conducted by Walker.

    Walker begins by relating a story of how she was mutilated as a child by a brother who blinded her in one eye with a BB gun. She emphasizes that people who have been mutilated and go on with their lives are survivors, not victims, and don't carry scars but have warrior marks instead.

    In England Walker interviews a woman who left Africa to avoid mutilation but whose mother suffered because of her escape. In Africa she interviews several women and children who have undergone the ordeal and a circumciser who inherited the job from her mother. Women working to end this practice through education and political protest speak out about the health issues involved as well as the psychological degradation of women.

    The technical quality of the video is not its strong point. It seems dark or washed out at times, especially in the dance scenes with the picture moving behind the dancer. It is not clear at the beginning that she is dancing out the pain of the circumcised women, and these segments sometimes seem disjointed. Both interpreters and subtitles are used when Walker interviews non-English speaking women.

    Female sexual mutilation has been practiced for centuries, but only recently has the subject been openly discussed with a strong movement to end the practice. The subject matter, handled so tactfully here, makes a powerful statement to the world about the seriousness of this problem. Although the cost is high for libraries, this video deserves all the exposure it can get.

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