At a packed public screening held at the Custard Factory media and arts centre, members of the Birmingham community were introduced to Craig Pinkley’s latest film, “Advice to a Daughter”, on Friday 15th March. Following the formula of his successful documentary “Advice to a son”, this new film makes use of powerfully honest first-person accounts to lift the lid on the effects of inner city culture on women whilst encouraging younger generations to make better decisions.
With inner city culture and the effects of poverty, violence and broken households associated with it, generally depicted as Black male issues, Advice to a daughter shows this not to be the case.
“Local authorities, the media, the community focus on violent young men when talking about inner city culture but they have mothers, sisters, girlfriends” says Craig Pinkley, the film’s director.
“Women are affected and Advice to a Daughter is about giving these women a platform to voice those realities.”
As an experienced youth worker and a man himself, Craig specialises in working with disaffected young men but the nature of his occupation led to him being exposed him to many of the issues facing young women. He recalls one particular incident,
“One of the young girls in our community was in an abusive relationship and the guy broke her jaw putting her hospital.” He says.
“Before she called her parents, she called me.”
A number of similar incidents occurred and although Craig referred these young women to female councillors and support workers none felt comfortable expressing their problems in those environments.
“That made me question why these young people felt that they couldn’t access those services and so I decided to put something together that would capture the stories and issues that women have presented to me in a way that would touch the hearts and minds of the people.”
Advice to a daughter most certainly does that and Craig says that the film can be a valuable resource for practitioners to better understand the issues affecting young women whilst also sparking important discussions within the community.
The film features a number of women who share their experiences of unhealthy relationships, teenage pregnancies, peer pressure and other issues before advising young people to make better decisions.
There are a number of touching and painful stories shared; one sister explains how she was shot whilst in the company of a group of men when a rival group appeared and another shares how she was abused whilst in a care home and fell pregnant.
“We were all pregnant at 15 in these care homes, we weren’t protected” she says.
“The care workers would abuse us and then another would cover it up and frame us to say that the girls had assaulted them.”
Her advise for young women was to seek refuge in prayer and solve their problems with their families rather than turning to social services as the system was “fraudulent.”
Another young women describes how having found herself in an abusive relationship with her baby son’s father, she was forced to move in order to get away and start her life over. With her mother having passed away, leaving her without an example of how to be mother and no father figure to help her raise her son she asks; “What am I to do?”
Throughout the many stories shared, re-occurring themes include broken households, peer pressure and particularly a lack of self love.
“Lots of women out there have loads of confidence but little self esteem and I’m one of those girls” one participant tell us.
“Everyone thought I was bubbly and happy, they thought that I loved myself but that was not the case at all.”
Several of the women featured in the film cite this lack of love for themselves as being a key factor in them making destructive choices such as seeking validation from men and are keen to advise young women to respect themselves.
The roots of this lack of love are also touched upon, through an example of a mother telling her dark skinned daughter as a child to bleach her skin women of as well as absent fathers which leave young girls without a clear standard to judge male conduct.
Over the course of it’s thirty minute running time, Advice to a daughter highlights the need for action within the Black family in order to stem the painful cycle which a great deal of the Black men and women are often trapped in and create a better, brighter future for generations to come.
To order a copy of Advice to a daughter, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07528662650.