(FGM : Female Genital Mutilation)
The film accompanies Kadiatu Suma/ Kate Kendel back to her native Sierra Leone looking into the harmful practice of FGM (Female Genital Mutilation). The film provides information on the physical and mental consequences of FGM and it makes you understand why FGM is still practiced and how to stop it.

Don’t fear - The Secret Pain includes NO terrifying pictures of the actual cutting.

The film is an excellent tool for generating debate about this sensitive subject – especially between different generations. Useful educational material can be produced from the broad variety of subjects treated in the film: culture, the role of poverty, the lack of other work for the circumcisers, the role of religion, the mental consequences, and ways to stop this practice.

The film is not just a propaganda film against FGM. It is the true story of a life, and it has a real woman as its main character. Through the film we learn about her life and her feelings. The film becomes emotionally strong, because the audience is able to identify with the main character. And when you identify with a person, you get a deeper understanding of the many facts presented in the film.

Statement issued by TAMWA (Tanzanian Media Women Association) upon opening of the film in Tanzania: ”Of all films that have been shown in recent years, perhaps none has touched hearts of people like THE SECRET PAIN! This film has made Tanzanians realize that the problem of FGM is not limited to physical mutilation.... It is the mutilation and maiming of the whole personality of a woman-girl; physically, emotionally, psychologically, and spiritually.... The film will help many Tanzanian women and girls to “break the silence” and work in solidarity to end FGM .”

IAC member Mrs. Olayinka Koso-Thomas , FGM Public Health Consultant & Specialist, Sierra Leone.
”This film will be ageless and go a long way to help those of us who have been fighting against the practice of FGM for over 30 years. Congratulations! It is an excellent film….The film shows it is all about MONEY, MONEY AND MONEY, and nothing else. The head of the Soweis said they continue because of Poverty. This frank admission is enough for many African countries where the practice is endemic to pass a law banning the practice and save millions of young innocent girls from having their vulva permanently damaged.”


Among a series of screenings for special groups, a screening was arranged for the health nurses. A few days later one of the nurses wrote:
“ I’ve received a lot of reactions from my colleques after the film. It made a huge impression and caused a lot of reflections. I believe that this film can contribute to ameliorate our future work preventing female circumcision. You have made a very important film, and the way you did it is so caring and respectful and honest that I do believe that it can be shown to a huge variety of people without creating resistance.”

Zanzibar International Film Festival (ZIFF), July 2006. The film was received with standing ovation by a mixed African and international public. Long debates followed after each screening. The French film festival FIPA in Biarritz, January 2007. 2.000 films competed for participation, but only 240 were selected, among them The Secret Pain.
The multicultural film festival, Salaam DK, March 2007. Two succesfull screenings in the School Section Programme.

Upon the opening of the film in 2006 in various cinemas in the major cities of Denmark,
all the major newspapers were unanimous in their praise:
* * * * Politiken : "A very important film against female circumcision… A moving story."
* * * * Berlingske Tidende: "A poignant and courageous film….beautifully shot by Simon Plum… Undeniably one of this year's powerful Danish documentaries”.
* * * * Ekstra Bladet: “This film moves and upsets you”
* * * * Kristeligt Dagblad: “The Secret Pain makes you understand what has to be done to stop this culture of mutilation.”

Thanks to generous sponsorship from The Oak Foundation by Eva Truelsen, a brand new multi-language DVD of the film is now available fee of charge for African users. This new DVD includes versions spoken in the following languages: 1) Creol voices, 2) Arab voices, 3) French-African voices, 4) Kiswahili voices. This means that you don’t have to possess reading abilities in order to understand the film. Furthermore the new DVD includes versions with subtitles in the following languages: English, French, Arab and Danish.