The World Before Her
The educated, liberal, urban, middle-to-upper class subsection has a more progressive, or contrarily, lascivious perspective on the role of women, allowing them a voice and opinion in scenarios where sexual objectification is implicit, such as the Miss India pageant. Diametrically opposing this Westernized cultural modification are the many camps dedicated to brainwashing young women into being Hindu extremists, accepting their role as passive baby makers while learning how horrible and evil Christians and Muslims are, along with the ins and outs of operating semi-automatic weapons and serrated hunting knives.
It's a juxtaposition analyzed and detailed in Nisha Pahuja's thoughtfully constructed and frequently frustrating documentary about potential paths for Indian woman, weaving together interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of a young Hindu extremist and the contestants of the 2011 Miss India pageant.
Obviously, the perspective is slanted towards female empowerment, noting that the Miss India pageant, while sexist, is often the only avenue for young women wanting more for their lives than repressed domesticity. The interviewees, most of whom are surprisingly insightful and articulate, discuss the sacrifice of being reduced to mere objects for the purpose of personal expression of identity. Scenes of the girls doing a catwalk with sheets over their head so the pageant runner can focus on "hot and sexy legs" drive this idea home.
On the other side of things is a young, seemingly lesbian – although, instead of acknowledging this she implies that God had a different plan by making her both a boy and a girl – extremist camp leader, whose rigid, borderline terrorist championing of Hinduism contradicts her hesitancy to settle down and crap out a bunch of kids. Interviews where she discusses deserving routine beatings from her father are almost as astounding as her admitting she would kill to defend her religion without hesitation.
While the footage included and intimate interviews drive The World Before Her forward through sheer awe, it's Pahuja's all-encompassing vision of India's political climate, as mirrored by the limited opportunities for women, which gives the doc its vitality and dramatic heft. It's extremely unlikely that anyone could watch this without having a strong reaction. (Stampede)
ReviewsJul 31, 2015
Bikes vs CarsFredrik Gertten
The battle between bikes and cars is a fight most people probably don't even know they're a part of (unless you side strongly with the forme...
ReviewsJul 31, 2015
Mission: Impossible – Rogue NationChristopher McQuarrie
Somewhere along the line, the makers of the long-running, Tom Cruise-starring franchise Mission: Impossible decided to stop creating uninten...
ReviewsJul 30, 2015
Best of EnemiesMorgan Neville and Robert Gordon
Given how easy it is to turn on any of the countless news programs and find two pundits from different sides of the aisle screaming over eac...
ReviewsJul 29, 2015
Turbo KidFrançois Simard, Anouk Whissell and Yoann-Karl Whissell
Turbo Kid follows a lonely, scavenging young man (Degrassi star Munro Chambers) fighting for survival in a post-apocalyptic Canadian wastela...
ReviewsJul 29, 2015
VacationDirected by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein
There's something strangely comforting about the transient nature of a road trip comedy like Vacation that tosses off its comic set pieces w...
ReviewsJul 28, 2015
Mortadelo and Filemon: Mission ImplausibleJavier Fesser
Mortadelo y Filemon (known to Anglophones as Mort & Phil) are beloved Spanish comics characters. First featured in 1958, it was a comic book...
ReviewsJul 25, 2015
The Big Lebowski Live ReadOlympia Theatre, Montreal QC, July 24
Few caper comedies have captured a true fan base quite like The Big Lebowski. There have been countless festivals and theme nights since its...
ReviewsJul 23, 2015
Like so many of Adam Sandler's recent comedies, it's hard to figure out who the intended audience is for Pixels. A silly trifle that would h...