Fire Eyes

Director: Soraya Mire
Screenwriters: Soraya Mire

Institute History

  • 1994 Sundance Film Festival


Fire Eyes, an emotional. personal and insightful film by Somali filmmaker Soraya Mire, finally brings the taboo subject of female genital mutilation to the screen. To Mire, this painful and destructive form of circumcision is the ultimate child abuse and a practice designed to limit women's social, economic, sexual and political rights. This documentary explodes the myths surrounding this practice and sheds much-needed light on the socioeconomic,psychological. and medical consequences of this custom which victimizes more than eighty million women.

Using a wide range of images and interviews (both of men and women), Mire examines this rite of passage, generally performed between ages four and fourteen, without which young girls feel ashamed and because of which their experiences of sex and bodily functions are shrouded in pain. This brand of womanhood sears the body, the mind and the soul Mire is direct in her approach and uncompromising in her argument. The fact must be known that female circumcision is drastic, and its most extreme form (infibulation) creates a chastity belt made of the girl's own flesh as she is literally stitched shut until marriage. Myriad medical complications and psychological traumas beset circumcised women for the rest of their lives. The film's forthrightness is never confused with truth.

Circumcision is a practice which is steeped in tradition and passed on to daughters by the women they love most. their mothers, aunts and grandmothers. It is thought to protect virginity, and to promote cleanliness and manageability. This is not a tradition that will die out easily, but Fire Eyes provides eloquent evidence that survivors of female circumcision are now willing and determined to break the chain of pain.

Friday Jan 21 10:00 am
Holiday Village Cinema 1

Sunday Jan 23 4:40 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III

Tuesday Jan 25 1:00 pm
Park City Library Center

Friday Jan 28 1:40 pm
Holiday Village Cinema III


— Catherine Schulman

Screening Details


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