‘14 million screams’, a disturbing short film on forced marriages

William Millet

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The four minute long film is an appeal to help the young victims of forced marriages

Julie Gayet, Adèle Gasparov and Alexandre Astier, photo credit: director Lisa Azuelos "14 million screams" screenshot
Julie Gayet, Adèle Gasparov and Alexandre Astier, photo credit: director Lisa Azuelos “14 million screams” screenshot

Why produce a one hour film when four minutes are just enough to convey a strong and powerful message? With 14 million screams (14 millions de cris) the French director Lisa Azuelos has managed to denounce with dexterity and in less than five minutes the issue of forced marriages. The black and white film was released on March, 6th 2014, 2 days before the International Women’s Day.

This is an incredibly well-produced film with a deep and critical message towards society and countries allowing this practice. This masterpiece will leave you perplex and will allow you to step back and think about the millions of victims forced into an unwanted marriage.

The film takes place in a wealthy area of Paris and tells the story of a 12 year old Caucasian girl named Emma (Adèle Gasparov) who is being married by her parents to an old man; it is a dark and gloomy film denouncing the responsibility of parents and questioning women’s rights. The film insists on the age of the victim and the iniquity of child marriage. It is an incredibly powerful and dark film definitely worth watching.

The film title refers to a study that was conducted by the United Nations Population Fund in 2012 showing that each year 14 million underage girls are victims of a forced marriage: if we break down this figure, this represents: 1,166,666 forced marriages a month, 269,230 a week 38,461 a day and 27 every minute.

The atmosphere of the film is voluntarily bizarre and dark; Lisa Azuelos produced this poignant and shocking film to raise awareness of forced marriages; the director insists on the fact that little girls become slaves and prisoners of a family they didn’t choose.

A study conducted in 2012, shows that in Africa, 42% of girls under the age of 18 are forced to be married. In Niger 26 % of girls under the age of 15 are forced into marriage (Statistic Brain).

The director believes that this movie is an opportunity to change women’s status in the world and make people aware of this tragic and horrible practice.

 

Watch the short film here:

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William Millet