A fiction drama about ignorance and the consequences of carelessness. But also about the power to overcome desperate situations in life, to burst one's bonds and finally to be what you want to be.
The life that surrounds Vanessa in the small village she lives is manageable. Her mother, Ibiso, works as the local midwife, she is the only child of an already finished relationship and her mother's job permits her to go to school.
There are few obligations for her until her mother decides to accept the rampant promises of Smart Bob Manuel and marry him. Quickly this new stepfather shows his real face including his penchants for other women, stealing the mother's money and spend it for his extensive journeys to the local bar. Finally his way ends in the house and in the arms of Ibiso's best friend.
Vanessa's childhood come to an abrupt end when her mother becomes ill, first without knowing the reason, and Vanessa needs to work in her mother's profession to aliment the family with now two more little children. She must learn about the enormity of ignorant thinking when a doctor and very good friend of hers diagnoses AIDS to her mother which results in the community including family members and her stepfather ostracize her mother and her. In this very moment they need help and support, but get only indifference and refusal.
Stigmatized, Ibiso dies in desperation and loneliness. Vanessa's heritage is a continous stigmatization and financial problem because the instilled fear makes most of her patients stay away. Although she's working with more medical precautions than her mother, Vanessa becomes infected with the virus also. The young woman is going to cave in, remembering the sad way in which her mother was taken, and to be left alone from her dearly beloved longtime boyfriend.
When Vanessa decides to end her tragic life by herself, it takes a turn for the better, for the only reason that there's someone who is not following that antiquated ways of thinking. With the help of that person Vanessa is no more a prisioner of circumstance and social rape. She turns her illness into the posibility to begin a new life and buries the stigma of beeing HIV positive by starting a career as a motivational speaker and famous advocat of people with AIDS. Her successful fight not only initiates her personal reformation but also companions of Vanessa's past develope and now want to come back to her life.
But forgiveness is not easy to grant and sometimes it could be too late....
* STIGMA Screening in Hamburg
14th Afrika Festival Hamburg
Friday, 26th August 2016
Zeise Kino, www.zeise.de
Tickets available at the cinema
* STIGMA will run at the 6th edition of the Eko International Film Festival in Lagos / Nigeria, from 16th - 21st November 2015