INNCONTRO-Filmfestival: „2 Girls“

Von 16.-17. November 2018 fand erstmals das INNCONTRO – Filmfestival mit Schwerpunkt auf Migration und Gender in Innsbruck statt. Wir waren dabei und berichten von 2 Girls.

Der Dokumentarfilm 2 Girls vom italienischen Regisseur Marco Speroni entstand 2016 aus dem zwischen 2014 und 2015 durchgeführten Forschungsprojekt „Time to Look at Girls: Adolescent Girls Migration and Development“. Dem Projekt zu Grunde lag die gestiegene Anzahl an jungen Mädchen in Entwicklungsländern, die ohne Begleitung in umliegende Städte migrieren. Die Forschung bezog sich auf die Fragen, welche Gründe die jungen Mädchen für ihren Aufbruch haben und welche Herausforderungen die Migration für sie birgt. Für den Film 2 Girls reiste Speroni in zwei der untersuchten Länder: Äthiopien und Bangladesch.  Mithilfe des schon bestehenden Forscherteams konnte er tiefe Einblicke in das Leben einiger betroffener Mädchen gewinnen. Der Film geht auf das Schicksal von zwei dieser jungen Frauen ein: Lota aus Bangladesh und Tigist aus Äthopien.

Nach der Vorstellung im Leokino fand ein Gespräch mit dem Regisseur des Films Marco Speroni, Nicoletta del Franco, Stella Lange und Evelyn Ferrari in der Moderation und dem Publikum statt.

Evelyn Ferrari: This movie is based on a research project you were involved in. One aspect this project focuses on is the importance of talking about girls as such. Can you tell us some more about it?

Marco Speroni: This project was born a view years ago. I met this group of anthropologists, who did research on young boys and girls in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. I had the chance to work with them for one year. Their language is different. They work on paper I work on the camera. Thanks to them I had a sort of access that would otherwise be impossible for me. It would be very difficult for me to get close to the girls. That was only possible through them.

Evelyn Ferrari: Nicoletta, you were very much involved in this project. Maybe you can tell us some more about it.

Nicoletta del Franco: The title 2 Girls developed because the research focused on adolescent girls rather than on women. It was a result of a gap that we as researchers saw in migration studies. There are not many studies about girls under 18 migrating. The only research on that topic is done on girls being forced to move by, for example, traffickers. There is always the discourse on protecting these girls and preventing them from migrating. But we wanted to look at girls who chose to move. We wanted to reduce stereotypes of women migrating because they have been cheated, are taken somewhere by traffickers and so on. We wanted to focus on their own legacies and capacity to decide
Moreover, adolescence is a period of transition. Migration is also a period of transition. Adolescence is a time when girls have to make a lot of choices. It is interesting to see how these choices interact with the choice to migrate.
We made the documentary in order to reach a wide audience with the results of our research.

Marco Speroni: We chose the two girls, Lota and Tigist, for the movie because they were particularly brave. Ethopia is a strictly catholic country. The Ethopian girl, Tigist, was ready to share her story with us from the very beginning. However, she did not want to show her face, because she was afraid. But suddenly she changed her mind and said, “I will show my face. You can tell my story.” That was great.
Lota was brave just by spending some time with us. She risked losing her job in the garment factory.

Audience: Have the girls seen the final documentary?

Nicoletta del Franco: The girls have seen another version of the documentary that was made for academic purposes. We had big meetings in Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Addis Ababa (Ethopia) with NGOs and the girls.

Audience: How was the public reaction to you and the girls while shooting the movie?

Marco Speroni: Crazy. It was easier in Bangladesh. There is a lot of footage shot in the slums. We had no problems at all there. In Ethopia it was hard. We needed permissions for everything. Especially in the church. The church is not only the church itself but all the grounds around the church as well.
Shooting in the night was very dangerous. People threw stones at our car because they did not want to be filmed.

Stella Lange: You wanted to highlight that the girls are not only victims. They have the power to tackle these very difficult situations. How far does the film show this strength to make decisions? Where there limitations set by existing stereotypes?

Nicoletta del Franco: The film tries to give an ambiguous view on the issue. There are a lot of structural inequalities in these countries due to gender, class and so on. There is a lack of opportunities for young girls. We didn’t want to deny that. We wanted to show their vulnerability but also their inner determination to go beyond. I really like when Lota says “Tschack” in the movie, which in Bengali means “Okay let’s do it.”. I think there is a strong element of choice in this. With all the girls we talked, there was a moment when they took their lives in their own hands.

Stella Lange: What were your choices as a filmmaker to let us as viewers dive into the world of the girls?

Marco Speroni: It was intriguing to reflect the feeling I had when I was in Bangladesh and Ethiopia. Everything was so different. For example, the atmosphere in Dhaka was very special. There was a sort of greenish light.
It was very important to me to show the differences between the two environments of the girls.


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