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The Global Health Film Festival is proud to announce the Opening Night Film for the 4th edition, will be the world premiere of Amá from director Lorna Tucker and producers Ged Doherty and Colin Firth. A powerful and compelling documentary about the sterilisation abuses of Native American women across the United States during the last sixty years. 

Amá will screen on Thursday, 6 December at the Curzon in Soho, London and will be introduced by Lorna Tucker, Colin Firth and the protagonists of the film Charon Asetoyer and Jean Whitehorse. All four will take part in the post-screening panel discussion.
 
Revealing one of North America’s darkest secrets, the officially sponsored destruction of Native American families. Children were removed from their families and thousands of women sterilised without their consent.            

Lorna Tucker (Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist) breaks the silence that still covers this chapter in Native American history, piecing together a tragic story of good intentions gone wrong and misguided attempts to “improve” Native Americans. Along the way she finds a growing number of women ready to confront the pain of the past. 

In Amá, those ignored voices join together in a chorus demanding attention. Jean Whitehorse tells of her political awakening in the Summer of Love even as doctors secretly prepare to sterilise her. She’s amazed to learn that the problem was nationwide: her old friend Yvonne Swan, from Washington state, was also illegally sterilised. Meanwhile, relentless activist Charon Asetoyer starts a radio station in South Dakota to amplify the voices of affected women.

Travelling across some of the loneliest parts of the USA, Lorna Tucker contextualises these revelations by listening to victims, doctors, politicians and whistle-blowers. She sets the scandal into the context of the civil rights movement, including the Native American occupation of Alcatraz in 1969. How could the voices of Native Americans have gone unheeded for so long? She finds a story of misguided attempts to “improve”, to “save” and to “civilise” Native Americans, an attitude that led to one of the most grotesque abuses of power in modern American history.

Gerri McHugh, Founder and Director of Global Health Film said: Amá shines a powerful and timely spotlight on some of the personal consequences and collective continued suffering resulting from the coercive or forced sterilisation of thousands of Native American women in 20th century USA. Until Amá, this has been a sorely-neglected chapter of the wider global 20th century eugenics programme that, in the name of public health or family planning, so often focussed on the most vulnerable groups in society including poor, migrant, minority or indigenous populations. Exposing and debating such issues is central to the aims of Global Health Film and as such, we are delighted to schedule Amá twice within this year’s Global Health Film Festival programme.”

Lorna Tucker, Director of Amá commented: “I’m thrilled that Amá will be having its world premiere at the Global Health Film Festival as it is totally aligned with the reason this film was made, to bring stories that are often overlooked, or ignored to a global audience, whilst using the film’s Native led outreach as a catalyst for change. When I started working with the women in Amá, it started as an exposé of the horrific abuses endured by Native and poor women of colour in America. But now I feel it also represents a timely warning of what happens when men in power dictate the rights of a woman’s body.”

Screenings will be on Thursday 6 December 7pm at the Curzon Soho and Saturday 8 December 6pm at the Wellcome Collection, Bloomsbury.

Tickets for the Thursday 06 December 7pm screening at the Curzon Soho can be purchased online

The Saturday 8 December 6pm screening at the Wellcome Collection, Bloomsbury is included in the Global Health Film Festival pass. Single ticket sales for Saturday will open mid-November.

The Global Health Film Festival will run from 8 – 9 December in Bloomsbury, central London.
 

About Dartmouth Films:     
Dartmouth Films have pioneered new ways of funding and distributing documentaries in the UK. Among their distribution successes are the award-winning Death of a Gentleman (2015), the internationally distributed The Divide (2016), John Pilger’s The Coming War on China (2016), James Redford’s Resilience (2017), Fiona Murphy’s Remember Baghdad (2017) and Callum Macrae’s The Ballymurphy Precedent (2018). 
 
For further press information and interview opportunities:      
 
Alison Wilcox
DDA Public Relations
Email: [email protected]

 

Global Health Film is registered in England and Wales under charity number 1179829 and company number 10436509. Registered address: 10 Queen Street Place, London, EC4R 1BE
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