Arts & Culture · Film & Television

A Film for International Women’s Day

Who are the people in the world today who are more persecuted than anyone else? The producers of a new documentary give us the startling answer: “They are not political or religious activists. They are girls.” 

That documentary is I Am a Girl, which, its makers say, “paints a clear picture of the reality of what it means to be a girl in the 21st century. . . . Feminism may have promised equality and sought a better and fairer world for women but the reality is that girls make up almost a quarter of the world’s population yet still face the greatest discrimination of any group in the world.”

The film features six striving adolescent girls who tell us about the problems and cultural pressures they must deal with in six different countries, including—yes—America.

Cultural pressures? How about risking assassination if you dare to go to school, or being reared to submit yourself wholeheartedly to your husband’s beliefs and wishes? Problems? How about becoming a prostitute at 12 to support your family, or having a child at 14 in a country whose poor health care system makes childbirth a dangerous proposition, or living in a neighborhood rife with violence? Habiba and Kimsey from Cameroon, Aziza from Afghanistan, Briani from the United States, Manu in Papua New Guinea, and Katie from Australia will tell you about their dreams and the obstacles they face.

A few years ago, the distributor, Gathr Films, brought us the galvanizing Girl, Rising, which is now streaming on Netflix. Gathr is a “theatrical on demand” service that lets those who are interested in an independent film bring it to a local theater by hosting a screening. The host’s job is simply to publicize the documentary to family and friends. When enough people reserve tickets, Gathr will provide the screening.

Learn more here. (The site allows you to send postcards to the girls!)


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