Rendezvous with Madness pairs off Beryl Magoko’s In Search… with Erika MacPherson and Katharena Vermette’s short This River. The short’s directors puts their subjects emotions on the forefront, reminding audiences of what women struggle with everywhere.
Beryl Magoko documents a year or so in her life as she travels from Germany back to Kenya. This journey happens twice and she makes stops at the village where her mother and her family lives. She and her mother, Gati, hve regular conversations, like whether or not she eats well in Germany. But eventually, Beryl’s film In Search… has conversations with or without Gati about the former’s experience with FGM. That’s female genetic mutilation, which gives her cramps and other female experiences more painful than a ‘normal’ woman. Beryl has an unvarnished honesty as she turns the camera on herself, connecting the physical with the psychological. She pays attention to herself and her other subjects whether they’re feeling the extremes of pain or joy.
Female genetic mutilation has existed for millennia in countries that are now predominantly either Christian or Muslim. Reversing that surgery, both physically and psychologically, requires a careful conversation, but one that women are now having. Beryl shows nuances within that conversation about that surgery, where generational, professional, and racial lines affect one’s perspective. There’s so many barriers that people with physical, and therefore mental and psychological differences face to get well. So it’s nice to see doctors who know how to impart ideas of wellness, especially in sexuality.
For more information on This River and In Search… go to https://workmanarts.com/rwm-events/in-search/.