When young girls go to school, a bright future awaits them.
When young girls do not go to school, dreams fade.
That’s the theme at the heart of “Girl Rising,” a cinematic editorial — actually a feature-length public service announcement — encouraging moviegoers to join the crusade to open school doors to young women.
The film ends with an unapologetic on-screen plea for donations to a variety of NGOs that are dedicated to helping young girls rise above hard beginnings.
The film focuses on nine girls from Third World countries, where education is a luxury for anyone. Being female presents additional obstacles such as becoming a child bride.
“Girl Rising” is a feminist reminder that gender equality doesn’t exist in much of the Third World.
The filmmakers return to the homeland of each girl and allow a local writer to help re-create the woman’s story. The film re-enacts the lives of powerful girls to show how they escaped their likely fate.
These young ladies tell their stories about how they fought for the right to attend school — and what a difference it made in their lives.
Some of these tales are very touching, others less so.
But the cumulative impact accomplishes the intended goal: To remind us that millions of young girls with enormous potential are trapped in situations that keep them from realizing their potential.
“Girl Rising” is a reminder that we American’s are a touch spoiled, that we take for granted opportunities denied to so many around the world.
Such consciousness-raising is always welcome.