There are no medical reasons for circumcising normal little boys, but this practice continues as a ritual as part of the Jewish, Muslim and other African religions. This documentary by the Jewish journalist and film director Victor Schonfeld, whose son was circumcised, shows how the operation is usually performed without anaesthetic by people who have no formal medical training. He says, “The time has come to break the pattern of silence and trivialisation which has enabled the custom to continue through the generations”.
The core of the film is the story of one eight-day-old boy who ended up in intensive care being treated for severe septicaemia three days after his circumcision. The myth that new-born children don’t feel pain is exploded. Both sides of the argument are put forward, and people who have suffered trauma as a result of circumcision tell how they feel.
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