Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Girl Rising (2013)

Trite, simplistic and cloyingly; Girl Rising takes poverty and the disadvantaged boils them down to soundbites for the middle-classes. It's beautifully shot and the girl's stories are interesting and emotive but the film is completely overloaded with artifice that it completely removes any impact. The mix of documentary style and scripted scenes reminded me of that current breed of nasty docu-soaps like Born in Chelsea and Geordie Shore; not the best reference when listening to tales of young girls trying to rise above oppression and the patriarchy.

The world is broken but unfortunately films like this won't fix it. What it will do is massage the guilt of Guardian readers, who will set up a £3 a month direct debit and then fall asleep on their Egyptian cotton sheets. What these girls need is rioting in the streets, organised resistance, the removal of religious influence, the overthrow of corrupt governments by their citizens, the removal of 3rd world debt, stopping the stripping of national resources by rich multinationals, and education unfettered by doctrine, gender, religion, tradition and wealth.

I really wanted to like this film but struggled to get through it. A completely fictional film or a pure documentary would have worked far better than the glossy falseness of Girl Rising. As an example of how up-it's-own-arse this film can be, at one point Meryl Streep asks "What does it mean to split a girl? Is it like tearing a photo down the middle, while each half witnesses the making of a ghost", no Meryl, that's not what it means.

Meryl Streep = $65,000,000
Selena Gomez = $16,000,000
Anne Hathaway = $15,000,000
Salma Hayek = $85,000,000
Alicia Keys = $60,000,000
Chloe Grace Moretz = $12,000,000
Liam Neeson = $75,000,000

Just how many houses and cars does a person really need? I wonder how many schools $328,000,000 could build and how many scholarships it could create?

One of the girl's stories involved the myth of Icarus so I thought I'd share a reading by one of my favourite poets, Kate Tempest.

I've been chugged in my own home!

Original letterboxd review

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