Monday, June 17, 2013

"Girl Rising" aired as a special on CNN: how education for young women breaks a cycle of involuntary servitude in the developing world

On Sunday night, June 16, CNN aired a two-hour segmented documentary by Richard Robbins, “Girl Rising”, sponsored by IOXIO and Intel, "10x10" and Vulcan. .Cate Blanchett often narrates, along with Liam Neeson and Alicia Keys. 
The best CNN link (with videos) where the director discusses the film is here. But there is also an official site here

The film started by recounting the young woman Malala recovering in London from gunshot wounds  inflicted by the Taliban for promoting education for girls (NBC story), an idea that radical Islam sees as threatening to male marital sexuality.
The film then presents the stories of teenage girls (sometimes as young as 13) in several developing world countries:  Haiti, India, Egypt, Sierra Leone, Peru, and Afghanistan.
In Haiti, “Wadley” finds out that she is no longer allowed to go to school after the earthquake if she can’t pay;.  She says that “money” is something that lets some people eat three times a day and others only every other day.  She carries water pails for her family in the ruins.

In Peru, Selena Gomez grows up at 16000 feet in the Andes, as her father works in a gold mine and then dies in an accident.  That segment is filmed in black and white.

The Egyptian and some of the Sierra Leone segments are developed with rotoscopic animation.  In Freetown (Sierra Leone), a teen girl finally gets to host “Dr. Mirasma’s Miracle Mystery Show”.

Throughout the documentary, a couple of themes reoccur.  The girls are often expected to be married off early, and often they are viewed as labor “property”, available to take care of younger siblings (whom the parents “chose” to have, not the girl)  but also to earn hard currency for the family.

Education for women in developing countries would help break their enslavement.

I could well have put this on the Movies blog, as apparently it aired at Sundance. Will it show in theaters, too?

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