Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Girl Rising - Must see documentary

Recently, I watched Girl Rising, a documentary which had been listed on Library Journal’s best documentary/DVD list (more on those choices later). Girl Rising is about the power of education to change the world. It tells the story of 9 girls – in Cambodia, Haiti, India, Nepal, Egypt, Ethiopia, Peru, Sierra Leone and Afghanistan. Each worked with an author (like Edwidge Danticat for Haiti), most play themselves in the movie, and an actor (such as Cate Blanchett or Liam Neeson) reads each story.

Girl Rising is a very impactful film; some are aspects are very sad, some will make you angry and many will give you hope.  The documentary runs 103 minutes and Girl Rising is so powerful that I would suggest watching parts at a time.  For example, Junior and Senior advisories or Geography or Social Justice classes would find much to discuss through both the film and the accompanying web site. Here is the official trailer:

After sharing the stories of these girls (Sokha, Wadley, Yasmin, Suma, Asmera, Ruksana, Senna, Mariama, and Amina) Girl Rising‘s Call to Action asks viewers to do three things:
  • Share the story of Girl Rising and raise awareness
  • Invest – consider a donation to help fund programs promoting education for girls
  • Stand with girls on policy issues
Founding partner Intel has been joined by an impressive list of contributors and several international non-profit organizations.

Other documentaries from the Library Journal’s list of best-sellers in 2014 include Chasing Ice (about global warming; trailer here) and Gasland (about fracking; trailer here) . The 2014 list is not yet available online, but here is Library Journal’s June2013 list of best-selling documentaries which shows the film Bully as number one – we have a copy available at New Trier (trailer here) and are looking forward to the upcoming Winnetka Public Library’s program on that documentary this fall.

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