In Development

Short Animated

Continuing its research phase in 2019, “The Old Wound” will be a short animated documentary film focusing on the issues of Female Genital Mutilation / Cutting  (FGM/C) practices, especially the kind that happens in Indonesia.

Narratively, the story is told by a woman protagonist facing questions regarding her identity and the meaning of being a woman in this world by tracing her “old wound.” She unveils the complicated socio-cultural problems surrounding the tradition and questions its continuity along the quest.

Why FGM/C as theme?

Despite being internationally recognized as a human rights violation, Female Genital Mutilation/ Cutting has been performed on at least 200 million girls and women in three continents. More than half of those subjected live in Africa and Indonesia.

According to Indonesian’s Basic Health Research Study from 2013, 51% of Indonesian girls under the age of eleven had undergone FGM/C. As a woman filmmaker who has experienced FGM/C, I decided to investigate this problematic tradition in my family. I want to understand how some tradition with values that harm women continues. 

However, the practice is seen as an Islamic duty to the average Indonesian. As a result, FGM/C remains a complex issue and has become a social norm that is often overlooked in the community's and global narrative as Indonesia is home to over 250 million Muslims.


Many medias and films about FGM/C created from the ‘west’ perspective, that doesn’t really affect the FGM stakeholders in Indonesia, who lives in a close-knit communities.

As one of the tradition’s survivor, I want to help with the elimination of FGM in Indonesia by creating a film that animates the narrative of Indonesian women and their inner conflicts. I hope someday that this film could be used to equip community members who engage in critical reflection.  

At the same time, to show the world how important to see the stakeholders' (performers' and survivors') perspectives to start another discussion towards a better strategy for FGM elimination globally.

Research background

In addition to interview with the women in my family & family’s archives, The Old Wound also features an interview with the FGM stakeholders in Indonesia. For example, women with FGM experience, young mothers who pay for the circumcision, midwives, religious and cultural leaders. In addition, the project also features experts commentary from the National Commission on Violence against Women and the Center of Population & Policy Studies, University Gadjah Mada. All of the interviews gathered in the process are under the interviewee’s consent as part of the film.


While it's still uncommon to put religion and violence in the same frame in Indonesia, I believe in the power of animation to visualize complex and sensitive themes in a beautiful and poetic vision. The Old Wound wanted to tackle the emotional and sentimental aspects of the consequences of FGM, rather than merely documenting the unpleasant facts surrounding the practice.

The Old Wound mixes a rotoscoped reality with cell animation, photo archive, and colorful gradients and forms portraying colorful Indonesia.

In the sound layer, the recording of the interview and the protagonist's narration conduct the story alongside sound design and traditional folksong.


The film begins with the protagonist facing a generational conflict, which is having the pressure to get married soon from her mother - that eventually makes her contemplate her inner conflict.

Protagonist’s inner conflict is being at the crossroad of tradition, religion and modernity. Her ‘old wound’ symbolizes the traditions and religious values that harms women.

The Protagonist’s decided to fly back home to Indonesia and unveils the complicated socio-cultural problems surrounding female circumcision tradition along the journey.


Luka Tak Berbekas


Tired to hear her parent‘s constant advice to get married soon, A woman contemplates her identity and the meaning of being a woman by tracing her ‚old wound‘.

Genre:               short documentary
Technique:       Digital 2D Animation (colour)
Duration:          +-15min.
Language:        Bahasa Indonesia, English SUB
Target Viewer:  +12


‘The Old Wound‘ is a short animated documentary film focusing on the issues of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) practices in Indonesia.

The narrative is told from the perspective of a woman protagonist facing questions regarding her identity, bodily autonomy, and integrity by tracing her ‚old wound‘. Along the quest, she unveils the complicated socio-cultural problems surrounding female circumcision tradition in Indonesia.

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©Rika Tarigan 2022