16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
An important documentary,
This review is from: Half the Sky: Turning Oppression Into Opportunity For Women Worldwide (DVD)
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.
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.