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Mina Smallman to tell her story in new BBC documentary, Two Daughters (w/t)

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Bibaa Henry and Nicole Smallman were reported missing on 6th June 2020. Mina Smallman’s two daughters were never to return from Bibaa’s birthday celebration the night before in a north London park. They were murdered as they relaxed together, enjoying each other’s company. The next day, Nicole’s boyfriend found the sisters’ bodies.

Emeritus Archdeacon Mina Smallman was Britain’s first black Archdeacon, her faith is central to her very being. But what happens when faith is confronted by unimaginable tragedy? Mina has invited Stacey Dooley to help her tell her story in a new documentary for BBC Two and iPlayer. The film will also follow both the trial of her daughters’ killer, and the trials of two Met police officers who took photographs of their bodies and shared them online.

Mina and her husband Chris feel the police were initially dismissive and mishandled the missing person investigation, failings that were compounded by the appalling behaviour of the officers who shared selfies with her daughters’ bodies. They question the treatment of the girls’ story in national press and ask whether the police, media and wider society seem to treat the murder of a woman of colour differently.

The film explores the role of faith and forgiveness in Mina’s life. Mina’s faith has been a lifeline as she copes with her grief and anger and her relationship with God has strengthened her resolve to fight to end violence against women so her daughters did not die in vain. Speaking about her daughters, she has said: “As a teacher and a priest I have given my life over to raising boys and girls that people looked down on and didn’t think that they could be anybody. Now I’m doing it for my girls and I’m doing it for everyone.”

Stacey gets first-hand insight of what it’s like for a family going through such an unthinkable tragedy, and through meeting their best friends she gets to know the inspiring young women that Bibaa and Nicole were.

Mina Smallman says: “This documentary has been guided by our choices in that we chose Stacey, not the other way around.

“The tragic death of our daughters and the further betrayal by Met police officers at the scene of the crime, led us down a path of activism. I’ve felt guided and protected by my faith.

“Our hope is this documentary will highlight the need for a more proactive approach to women’s safety. Also an acknowledgment that women of colour do not receive the same level of media attention or unbiased attention.

“‘There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.’ Maya Angelou.”

Stacey Dooley says: “When Mina asked me if I would make a film about her girls, I immediately wanted to help in any way I could. This is Mina’s film, and it’s about highlighting the persistent, chronic problem we have with violence against women, whilst ensuring that Nicole and Bibaa are never forgotten, and beyond that, are celebrated. I’d like to sincerely thank Mina, Chris and Monique. I hope this documentary contributes to a desperately needed conversation.”

Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History & Religion says: “Mina and Chris’ story is a vital one to tell, both as a testament to their daughters’ lives and horrific murders, and as a witness to faith and the role it can play when faced with unimaginable trauma. I’d like to thank them both for their courage in sharing their story with us.”

Two Daughters (w/t) 1×60 for BBC Two and iPlayer is being made by Little Dooley and True Vision East. It was commissioned by Clare Sillery, Head of Commissioning, Documentaries, History & Religion and the BBC Commissioning Editor is Daisy Scalchi. The Executive Producer is Brian Woods the Director is Jermaine Blake and the Producer is Sian Guerra.