Directed by Richard Robbins, an Oscar nominee, Girl Rising is an inspirational documentary that depicts the struggle of girls in developing countries. The stories of nine young women, from Cambodia, Sierra Leone, Haiti, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, Peru, Egypt, Nepal, and India, show how education can play a vital role in lifting girls out of poverty like living conditions. The aim of the documentary is to shed light on issues that girls in developing countries have to go through to achieve their dreams, such as sexual abuse, poverty, child labor and child marriage.
The stories of all nine girls are truly inspiring and impactful. Among the nine stories, the film’s diverse subjects include an Egyptian girl who gathers the strength to fight back against her rapist, and forgives him when he pleads for his life to be spared; a Haitian girl who refuses to quit attending school despite her family’s inability to afford her tuition fee; a Nepali girl who fights against slavery and rescues children and a Peruvian girl, who dedicates her poetry in memory of her father, who pushed her to attend school.
Throughout the documentary, the idea is to inspire young children through the message that no circumstances can defeat education. This documentary can be perfectly looked at in the Pakistani context, as girls continue to fight for their right for education. The issues discussed in the documentary perfectly depict the Pakistani society of today, where girls in many areas of the country are often discouraged to attend school owing to cultural and societal norms. As girls in our country continue to dream big, and achieve their goals despite facing a multitude of hurdles, such a documentary could certainly inspire them to push harder no matter what situation they encounter. If the Pakistani film industry can look at this documentary as a blueprint, and produce similar films, the next generation can be truly inspired to look at education as their voice against the world.