A documentary by Annigje Peters
The life of Peer is marked by sexual violence. After 30 years she has decided to tell her story in the documentary Mourning Flesh, a poignant report of a young woman trying to make something out of this raw life.
The documentary Mourning Flesh is a story that must be told. It is the true story of Geertje ‘Peer’ Brinkmann. At a young age she was repeatedly a victim of severe sexual violence. She has been raped, assaulted and abused − by complete strangers as well as by people she knew and trusted. Mourning Flesh shows the impact this had on the life of a young girl, now a mature woman. Unimaginable, inhumane, unbearable. Yet Peer wants to move on, for herself and for others.
Unfortunately, victims often encounter with sexual violence again. As with Peer.
Abuse is often not brought out into the open by children and adolescents. They try to resolve the issue themselves, tell themselves that it wasn’t so bad or that it was their own fault. The seed is planted for a post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSS) or a negative self-image. The risk of being raped yet again increases. When a child thinks that it has no intrinsic worth, it becomes more difficult to set personal boundaries. If the situation arises anew the victim can become paralyzed and unable to say “Stop this!” This often creates a vicious circle.
Therefore this documentary...
A year ago – long before #metoo – Peer decided that she had had enough. After 30 years it was time to step out. This poignant documentary is confrontational, personal and powerful. In words and dance Peer tells her story. She lets the viewer into her deepest emotions, insecurities and pain.
Mourning Flesh investigates the complex feelings that accompany such charged events − the feelings of betrayal, anxiety and vulnerability. Body and mind both seek for ways to deal with the traumas. The documentary shows how the emotions released always search for a way out, no matter how destructive.
Mourning Flesh has been made to support victims, to strengthen and to inspire them on the long road of processing what they have been through. It aims to give them the strength to step out into the open in order to live in freedom and safety. The film is also aimed at those who are in contact with victims. Mourning Flesh helps us understand the nature of the pain experienced.
“I am no longer a victim, no longer raw flesh. I have been through a mourning process and now want to share my story. With this documentary I offer a platform and facilitate a dialogue, a place where others can recognize themselves, can share their experiences and feelings, and feel supported. I invite you to look when you would rather avert your eyes. I choose the way of resistance because I have come to realize that is where the solutions lie. Reliving the reality has positively changed my life, allowing me to now feel freer and live more lightly. Hopefully I show other victims a way to deal with their blocked feelings or emotional pain.”
As a professionally-trained dancer and yoga teacher, Peer understands the language of movement. Dance is her “safe language,” allowing her to express her feelings and what she has been through.
With Mourning Flesh we want to create a platform to show the consequences of sexual abuse. Please help us build that platform.