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Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide (2012)

George Clooney , America Ferrera , Maro Chermayeff  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: George Clooney, America Ferrera, Diane Lane, Eva Mendes, Meg Ryan
  • Directors: Maro Chermayeff
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Subtitled
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Docurama
  • DVD Release Date: October 20, 2012
  • Run Time: 224 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (86 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B008NNY98U
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,558 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

Over 90 minutes of Special Features includes

  • Extended and deleted scenes and interviews
  • PSAs
  • Trailers
  • Mini-campaign videos
  • Bonus content for Facebook game
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Editorial Reviews

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America Ferrera (click for larger image)

Eva Mendes (click for larger image)

Diane Lane (click for larger image)

Gabrielle Union (click for larger image)

Product Description

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.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
34 of 34 people found the following review helpful
"Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide" made its broadcast premiere as a part of PBS's Independent Lens series and was introduced by George Clooney. Although gender inequality is certainly not a new topic, New York Times reporters (and Pulitzer Prize winners) Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDann explored the globe while writing the acclaimed 2009 bestseller on which this four hour presentation is based. They covered stories both harrowing and heartfelt. Encountering seemingly hopeless situations, they met courageous individuals who worked within the system (or oftentimes against it) to help affect positive change. They attracted enormous media attention upon the book's publication, so the expectations for this documentary series were high. Kristof is a major face in this production and he has enlisted some famous names to participate in the various segments of the film.

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.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars half the sky, all the earth October 2, 2012
By karenji
I sat mesmerized by this incredible documentary. It achieved its purpose. It opened my eyes and my heart to the tremendous need for education of everyone about the travesty of the destruction of innocence in sexually enslaved children as young as two and three years of age. Sexual slavery has been around for a long time and it is time to stop it. It is time to be aware of what is happening and stop it. It is time to support all those who have worked to bring awareness to the rest of us. Half the Sky documentary is an excellent example of awareness raising educational film making. I was blown away by the balance of horror and lovingkindness portrayed. Kudos to all involved in this process of consiousness raising. Awesome! Thank you.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Advocate for the Most Disenfranchised October 2, 2012
Just saw this documentary on PBS this evening and was deeply touched by the brave, resourceful and resilient women it features, and their personal journeys from utter despair to a sense of hope and direction. This video underscores how, despite the unimaginable atrocities endured by women across the planet and particularly in developing countries, with some basic practical help, they absolutely have the potential to move beyond the enslavement, disempowerment and suffering to become positive role models, movers and leaders in their communities and to break the cycle of abuse in future generations. Besides giving regular people some ideas of how we can make a difference, this project also shows how those who have achieved a high level of success and, in some cases, fame, can make all the more impact by using their status, resources and limelight to highlight and champion those who are the most disenfranchised. For in helping those who have the least, collectively, we can experience the greatest sense of fulfillment and make the wisest investment in the future of our global community and our planet. This video is highly recommended as both informative and inspirational!
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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Life changing October 1, 2012
Watching this documentary on PBS right now. Plan to purchase a copy for our local women's centre. Most inspirational thing I have watched in a long time. Investing in women is how all of humankind will move forward and make our world a better place!
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An important documentary October 9, 2012
The four hours of program include some general overview, and then an in-depth look at specific issues (sex trafficking, girl's education, female genital mutilation, etc.) in specific countries (Sierra Leone, Vietnam, Cambodia, etc.) Central to each story are mostly local people who are doing something to address the problem, who meet with some success and continue to find ways to help many individuals without being immobilized by the feeling that they cannot help everyone or the problem can be solved.

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars This DVD is pure fiction Somaly Mam is a Fraud! She resigned
THIS ENTIRE DVD IS A LIE AND IS PURE FICTION! It was not fact - checked SOMALY MAM SEX TRAFFICKING IS A SCAM AND FRAUD. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Amazon book reader
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
stuff good
Published 27 days ago by Debby Cathell
5.0 out of 5 stars More Than Half The Sky
I had seen this program on PBS Television. This program addresses the many oppressive aspects of the lives of women in the third world. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nancy T. Hernandez
5.0 out of 5 stars HALF THE SKY: How Individuals CAN Make a Difference!
We are constantly bombarded with atrocities of the worst kind everyday by the media. Globalism has made our world closer and smaller but not more loving. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Questor
5.0 out of 5 stars love
My niece recommended this book. It is so inspiring and touching! Gives me a lot of desire to be more active.
Published 3 months ago by Janice Egner
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent documentary
My high school students became involved in this film and the stories of these women and girls. A real eye-opener for some! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Terri Curry
5.0 out of 5 stars Powerful DVD
If this is the DVd that parallels the book it is immensely accessible and a pleasure to watch the women from our privileged country interacting with women the world over.
Published 6 months ago by Florence Silver
5.0 out of 5 stars Unleash the Power of Girls
This was one of the most heartbreaking and eye opening books I have ever read. It's painful and brutal but the truth usually is. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Annie S.
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie changed my life ....... inspiring me to work with the women...
This was an excellent documentary - it presented the truth about women's oppression in the world BUT it offered inspiring hope! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Terry DuBeau
5.0 out of 5 stars Recommend all women to read this!
This book is very powerful and moving. I think all women should read it. Very inspiring and a call to action for all of us to work to make a difference.
Published 7 months ago by Jamie
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