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Open schools, open minds

2013-04-26T00:30:00Z 2013-04-26T00:31:33Z Open schools, open mindsBy BRENT NORTHUP Film Review Helena Independent Record
April 26, 2013 12:30 am  • 

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.

Copyright 2015 Helena Independent Record. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Marga Lincoln covers entertainment news for the Independent Record. Send story ideas for YourTime to, or please call 447-4083 or 447-4074. Follow Marga at @IR_MargaLincoln.

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