Girl Rising: A Film About Horrors, But It’s Not a Horror Movie

“I’m told my mother burst into tears when she learned my sex. She set me aside in the dirt.”

Amina was born in Afghanistan, but no one made a record of her birth date. Only boys are given that kind of attention. At 11 years old, she was “sold” by her parents as a wife to her cousin for $5,000 — and then they gave the money to their son so he could buy a used car.

Troubled yet? Keep reading.

For girls, Planet Earth is a terrifying place. 50% of sexual assaults in the world victimize girls under the age of 15. An estimated 150 million girls are victims of sexual violence. In the last 30 seconds, 13 girls under the age of 18 found themselves getting married, and probably not to men their age. This will be the story for 38 thousand girls today, and 14 million this year.

If you’re like me, you’d like to stop reading and move on to a subject that’s more pleasant. If you’re like me, these statistics make you feel sick.

That’s how I felt, listening to Amina’s story. But what could I do?

Well, I’m writing about it. I’m encouraging you to seeGirl Rising, to learn Amina’s whole story. Then, I ask you to show it to your friends, your children, your students, your church group. Watch it, think about Amina and the nine other girls featured in the film, and consider how to respond.

My consideration of Girl Rising, and my conversations with others who have strong feelings about what must be done in response to the movie, is published in… appropriately… Response.

And good news: The movie is available streaming through several online services, including Vudu.com. It’s also available on DVD.

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet departed the Patheos network in order to escape click-bait advertisements that were offending him and his readers. He will re-launch Looking Closer at lookingcloser.org soon. He is the author of The Auralia Thread, a four-volume fantasy series that begins with Auralia's Colors, and a memoir of "dangerous moviegoing" called Through a Screen Darkly. He teaches creative writing and film studies; speaks internationally about art and faith; served as Writer-in-Residence at Covenant College; and is employed by Seattle Pacific University as a project manager, copyeditor, and writer.


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