HALF THE SKY
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Inspired by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's groundbreaking book, HALF THE SKY: TURNING OPPRESSION INTO OPPORTUNITY FOR WOMEN WORLDWIDE takes on the central moral challenge of the 21st century: the oppression of women and girls worldwide.
Take an unforgettable journey with six actress/advocates and New York Times journalist Kristof to meet some of the most courageous individuals of our time, who are doing extraordinary work to empower women and girls everywhere. These are stories of heartbreaking challenge, dramatic transformation and enduring hope. You will be shocked, outraged, brought to tears. Most important, you will be inspired by the resilience of the human spirit and the capabilities of women and girls to realize their staggering potential.
HALF THE SKY is a passionate call-to-arms, urging us not only to bear witness to the plight of the world's women, but to help to transform their oppression into opportunity. Our future is in the hands of women, everywhere.
Over 90 minutes of Special Features includes
- Extended and deleted scenes and interviews
- Mini-campaign videos
- Bonus content for Facebook game
- Take Action Next Steps
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Top Customer Reviews
different countries is taken from Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn's
highly regarded book. And even if arguably flawed on a film-making
level, this is powerful, sometimes gut wrenching stuff. You know a
documentary has a real effect when immediately after watching you feel
compelled to send money to two charities you've never heard of before.
It does a great job of never downplaying the horrors of the subjects it
tackles; sex trafficking of under-aged girls, denial of education,
genital mutilation, etc., while managing to always leave room for hope.
In each case, we see a brave, almost saintly woman or organization
fighting the odds and personal danger to change things. So instead of
feeling depressed you feel agitated and energized. "These situations
are awful, but no situation is beyond hope and change" is the constant
The elements that bothered me certainly didn't undercut the power of
the film's message, but did make watching it less emotional than it
might have been. The device of having female celebrities be our
surrogate guide into each of these situations seemed odd and smacked of
pandering. I found myself frustrated listening to the feelings of the
actresses about what they were seeing, and would gladly have traded
that time for more interviews with experts in the fields, or the actual
victims and those who are working for change. The idea we needed to see
this through movie and TV stars eyes (as intelligent and
well-intentioned as these women are) seems to really underestimate the
intelligence of the audience.Read more ›
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Here's a run down of the chapters:
1) Eva Mendes in Sierra Leone (Gender Based Violence): Mendes and Kristof report on a situation where most attacks against women go unreported. They meet up with a representative (Amie Kandeh) of the International Rescue Committee whose efforts to educate and protect women are tireless.
2) Meg Ryan in Cambodia (Sex Trafficking): In this episode, Ryan and Kristof meet a leader in the anti-trafficking struggle (Somaly Mam). In a country where about a third of the prostitutes are children, Mam personalizes the story as she herself was sold into the sex trade as a child. Her efforts to rehabilitate brothel girls packs a strong emotional punch.
3) Gabrielle Union in Vietnam (Education): Union and Kristof visit the country with John Wood. As a marketing executive with Microsoft, Wood has introduced Room to Read which is an organization that promotes both literacy and equal opportunity education for girls within developing nations. As girls can be seen as second class citizens in places like Vietnam, they sometimes are pulled from school and not given the same opportunities as boys.
4) Diane Lane in Somaliland (Maternal Mortality): The unpleasant fact in Somaliland is that one in twelve women die in childbirth. A combination of poor nutrition, female genital mutilation, and general neglect have made the act of giving life an unprecedented danger. They meet Edna Adan who has started the country's first maternal health facility.
5) America Ferrera in India (Forced Prostitution): In India, there are about 3 million prostitutes with 1.2 million of them being children. Girls often follow their mothers into the trade with no other outlet. Here we meet Urmi Basu who works in the infamous red light district to try to break down these patterns and conventions.
6) Olivia Wilde in Kenya (Education): Wilde visits the Shining Hope for Communities organization and the Kibera School for Girls. Here we see a tuition free education established for promoting the advancement and opportunity of local girls who never had access to such things before.
DVD Extras: The two disc set has about 90 minutes of Bonus Material including deleted scenes, extended scenes and interviews, Public Service Announcements, Trailers, Mini-campaign videos, Action Suggestions, and additional content.
"Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide" personalizes a lot of unpleasant situations! But it also showcases a fortitude and determination of those that struggle to make an impact. Hopeful and inspirational, it's hard not to connect with the stories and champions introduced here. Watch it and you will be convinced that one person CAN make a difference. KGHarris, 11/12.
The film shoes issues that really everyone should care about--it is not anti-prostitution, for example, but maintains a focus on women (really girls) who are literally enslaved and forced to be prostitutes. There should be no one who sees actual slavery and pedophilia to be acceptable. You might think this is for women, or for liberals, but instead it lays out issues of moral and human concern of universal importance. The appeal is mostly just that we care for the lives of women, and see that transforming the lives of so many millions of women will transform the world for the better for all of us.
While on the surface, it might be criticized as a foreign do-gooder flying in to try to help people, in reality, those offering help are generally locals, and they are clearly the true heroes of this documentary.
The inclusion of celebrities seems at first unnecessary and just as a way to attract viewers who might otherwise never bother to watch. In reality, though, the celebrities just represent regular people like most of the viewers--people who come from the outside and are surprised and touched by what they discover, and people who would like to find some way to reach out to the women and girls featured in the film and share a bond of common humanity with them.
While documentaries may seem dry, this one moves quite quickly and has enough drama to keep the viewer engaged. It also does not have to manipulate to do so--real events like a raid on a brothel are just compelling enough to keep the viewers attention.
Overall, this is just a documentary I really wish everyone would watch.