9 unforgettable girls - striving beyond circumstance, pushing past limits -spotlighted in a film about the strength of the human spirit and the power of education to change the world. With stories by 9 celebrated writers, voiced by 9 renowned actresses including Meryl Streep and Salma Hayek, Girl Rising introduces Sokha, an orphan who rises from a Cambodian dump to become a star pupil; Suma, who writes music to endure forced servitude in Nepal; Ruksana, an Indian “pavement-dweller” whose father sacrifices his own needs for her dreams; and 6 other heroines. The girls are unique, but the obstacles they face are ubiquitous. Like the 66 million girls in the world who dream of going to school, what they want most is to be students. Now, by sharing their personal journeys, they have become teachers. Watch Girl Rising, and you will see: One girl with courage is a revolution.
Girl Rising isn't just a documentary. It may tell true stories, it may convey facts and opinions on a real world subject and it may even present you with something you never thought about before. Girl Rising while looking at the effect of certain horrors in the developing world is really a film looking to convey a feeling, the embrace of which we all strive for. Girl Rising is really a film about hope, about the search for something better through the eyes of women and girls who have seen the ugliness this world has to offer and still search for a happy ending.
The film follows nine different women and their experiences throughout the world as they face forced marriages and child slavery and many other terrifying problems. However each and every one of them is searching for a new life and a way to achieve it as they seek to learn everything they need to escape the lives they were born into as they hope for something better.
While it is almost impossible not to be empathetic to the women presented to you, the film has a tendency to preach instead of inform as it tells the stories with a noticeable bias. The film never quite feels like a search for information but instead as a conversion tool to push viewers onto the side of the women. Director Richard Robbins doesn't seem to understand that our commitment to his way of thinking doesn't need to be pushed for, he merely needs to let the tragedies do the talking.
Overall its an interesting piece of film as it brings together 9 seemingly different stories into one grand tale of hope as we are presented with 9 admirable characters who were able to rise above their status on their own laurels with little help. It's not hard to see why Robbins crafted this tale, its just a shame he thought he needed to make it more palatable when all he really needed to do was let it breathe.
You rated this film: 3
George Hooper - Cinema Paradiso
Classification is to be confirmed by the British Board of Film Classification