College Hour screens powerful documentary about girls around the world


Bryce Fraser

Students who attended the College hour last Thursday were shown a screening of Girl Rising a movie that chronicled the hardships of nine.

Meredith Durham and Meredith Durham

Thursday’s college hour was transformed from a lecture hour to a video screening, and it was an emotional ride for some in attendance.

“I can’t believe she can’t even show her face, or read,” said Marina Stefanova, a pre-nursing major who cried during the narration of one of the girl’s story.

Author and ARC adjunct professor Erika Mailman hosted the screening of the powerful documentary “Girl Rising,” which tells the story of nine girls from all around the globe as they try to achieve success, be it in school, or simply functioning as a human.

Since the movie is quite long, Mailman only showed clips of it, and focused on three of the nine girls examined in the documentary.

The featured girls of the film were all under 18 years old. Wadley, the youngest, is only 8 years old and from Haiti. Senna is from Peru and Amina is from Afghanistan.

Amina’s story was particularly gripping for the audience, and some people were visibly emotional.

“It seems barbaric to not be free to learn or even be able to speak freely to her own husband. 11 years old getting married? She’s a child, and I have [a] daughter who is 13, and I want her to have everything I didn’t growing up in Russia as a child,” said Stefanova.

The clips from the movie are stories written by journalists from each girls’ nation documenting the hardships they went through.

Minnie Driver and Anne Hathaway were two of the narrators of the stories the audience saw.

Amina was not shown in person, for fear it would bring danger to her, so an actress represented her in the documentary.

Each of the three girls who were presented endured some trauma, be it the earthquake that ravaged Haiti in 2010 or the harsh laws governing women in Afghanistan.

Senna from Peru played herself in the documentary, and told her story about living in the high Andes mountains in a poor coal mining town.

Her father died from complications from an injury within the mine, and she never went to formal school until she found a way to make money to do so.

Mailman stressed that the movie is available on Netflix, and can be streamed on Youtube as well for any who want to see the whole film.

Mailman created a list of questions for those who attended the college hour to discuss the stories they had seen, and some students did stay afterwards for some discussion.

“You know, we have truancy, we have people who skip school, and around the world people would kill to be able to go to school,” Mailman said after the screening. “I just felt like it opened my eyes about how hard so many people have it around the world, to have to pay to go to school.”