- Which girls’ stories made the greatest impression on you? Why?
I would say the story of Yasmin had me thinking for a while. After suffering such obvious trauma, it amazes me that she manages to process the happening as something she concurred. It’s something I would expect from a girl at her age, the age where people are usually the most impressionable and insecure. For her to strive through such a thing and still come out of it while looking at herself as a “superhero” is admirable. Such genuine confidence and courage is the opposite of what most people are left with after such a horrific experience.
Yet it saddens me that a girl that young has to put on that type of armor, although it’s better than being paralyzed by the trauma, it shouldn’t be necessary. It shouldn’t happen to children, yet it still does.
- “One girl with courage is a revolution”. After watching the film, what does that phrase imply – do you agree or can you think of a better catchphrase?
If you look at stories such as Suma’s, someone who used their bad experiences to better others, I would say it easily goes to show how the phrase makes sense. As we saw in the movie, Suma and a bunch of other girls who also were former a kamlari showed up to help a current kamlari. I personally believe there are many girls with the same passion and fire within them, but they need the assurance that if they speak up they won’t be turned away. Therefore it only really takes one girl with courage to make that first step so that others can follow her trail. In other words, the catchphrase makes sense both metaphorically and in practice.
- Girl Rising is neither pure journalism, nor fiction. The filmmakers have tried to go beyond the facts into the human experience. Did you find yourself getting lost in the stories in a way that was interesting or effective? Why or why not?
I definitely got really into how the stories unfolded but I was probably more focused on the circumstances. I started reflecting over the fact that parents will most likely prioritize their boys’ education instead of their girls’ and how baffling, yet understandable, that is to me. It’s not understandable because I personally agree that they should be prioritized, but there’s probably not as much of a payback if they prioritized their girls’ education. Whether or not they agree with it, it’s still what their society has made it out to. And it’s that particular concept that caught me the most.
- The girls of Girl Rising live in very difficult circumstances. Yet they do not consider themselves as victims. Are you able, through the storytelling, to relate to their lives in a way that lets you empathize rather than sympathize? Why or why not?
There’s nothing inside of me that could ever stop me from sympathizing with them. Although I cannot comprehend their struggle I can still understand their frustration and loss of motivation, I would have moments like that as well if that my situation. But I can’t say that I relate, I feel like me stating that would almost be offensive considering the things they have had to experience. Coming from someone who was lucky enough to be born in a rich and privileged country with lots of care for their inhabitants, I can only sympathize to the fullest.
- What are the messages from the film that you think will resonate most strongly with people who are not already familiar with this issue?
All of the stories and the girls who told them were equally inspiring, but there was one story in particular that just oozed of positivity and that was Wadley’s. Her persistence and determination were truly inspiring, and for that specific story, I really hope the ending was real. Maybe I preferred her since there wasn’t any harm done to her throughout the story, but I still think her “fall and rise again” essence is genuinely encouraging since it’s something most people can resonate with.