ESCAPE is a short film documenting the rescue and rehabilitation of Maasai girls who have undergone Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and early marriage, two practices that go hand-in-hand in Kenya. Female circumcision and child marriage continue to take root in poverty stricken communities that consider women as lucrative property to be “sold” to the highest bidder. The film depicts the lives of several young women and the various paths that some are forced to make. Naanyu Sekut, approximately 13 years old, marries a man more than 20 years her senior. Her cousin, Seleyian Sekut,10, is rescued from her husband. Others like Carolyn, Jennifer, Mary, Salula and Teresia were rescued by the Tasaru Safehouse for Girls where they are provided shelter, security and free primary and secondary education. We are introduced to their stories of not only physical pain from undergoing “the cut” but the emotional turmoil following their union with older men and their subsequent rescue from a lifetime of subservience. The movie explores the tenacity of some village elders bent on continuing a deeply rooted practice and the struggle by a growing segment of the community to redefine “tradition” despite the consequences.
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