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Director: Suzanne Cohen. UK 2010. 21 mins.
THE WITCHES OF GAMBAGA
Director: Yaba Badoe. UK/Ghana 2010. 55 mins. English and local languages with English subtitles.
Plus panel discussion including director Suzanne Cohen, poet Leah Thorn, and director Yaba Badoe
BEAUTIFUL SENTENCE is a documentary about inspirational poet Leah Thorn and her work with women prisoners at HMP Bronzefield, Middlesex, during her time as writer-in-residence. Through her workshops we meet a variety of women striving to heal themselves and find a voice through creative writing.
More than 1,000 women accused of witchcraft in northern Ghana live in refuges, where they pay for protection from the chief who runs them. THE WITCHES OF GAMBAGA follows the extraordinary story of one of these communities of women. Made over the course of five years, this exposé is the product of a collaboration between members of the 100-strong ‘witches’ community, local women’s rights activists and feminist researchers, united by their interest in ending abusive practices and improving women’s lives in Africa. Told largely by the women themselves, this is a uniquely intimate record of the lives of women ostracised from their communities. The film won the 2010 Black International Film Festival Best Documentary Award and second prize for Best Documentary at FESPACO 2011.