Monthly Archives: May 2014

India’s First Girl Surfer

Ishita Malaviya is India’s first female surfer; her parents wanted her to focus on her journalism studies and not surf. Her friends worried her tan would reduce her marriage chances, but she kept on surfing and taught other girls to surf, as she described in a short video.[i]



The Low Status of Indian Women

A woman physican, founder of an NGO for the poor in Chennai, responded to a draft of my chapter on Indian women in my book-in-progress “Brave: The Global Girl Revolution.”


Very though provoking why there is no Indian women movement  …whom to lead …all leaders are busy making hay when sun shines …a few struggling between police, families and court and handful are successful and rest lost in the battle and become silent thereafter ….a very bad city/ Country at many times

I wish all journalist stop running behind successful men and women and start documenting after listening to the lost women and their struggle ….this will tell us why we still don’t have a movement

Are women in India, the rich and poor the educated and illiterate equal …are all women just women .  Yes they are just women.

When they are alone they struggle but in a group they forget their mission and start discussing other matters …jewel, sari etc

The educated never turn to illiterate to educate they move forward to seek high placed jobs  as tutored by their family ….so who dominates men society family and the women is lost in the race because she fails to realize her role in it

The poor and illiterate are the most who struggle and when successful become real leaders ….funny does that mean only if a women struggles she can become a leader ??!!!

She also becomes the epic of home management an important post but she gets drowned in it many times not thinking what she has lost or what she needs to do for her daughter or daughter in law

I have seen miserable situations for women in my life

A mother is unable to support  her daughter who was raped by her father

A policewoman unable to bring justice for a girl child or a women instead listens and acts as per her higher authority invariably a male

A mother unable to hold on to her disabled child

A mom who goes for begging with her child and lives on that

Grannies making her grand child with limb deformity beg and wave at men for her living

A women journalist student who surrendered her baby born out of wedlock

A women doctor obstetrician shouts at a women in labour

A police woman supports the husband invariably than the wife in case of domestic violence

So many real life stories I stand sometimes where to begin

Women are used as a showpiece

Indian women are said to be tanned but she the ads ….they chases girls crazy ….i found my maid using Amway products can you believe that

So she is looked for her beauty alone and none respect her for what she is capable

Who ever deny’s, we are in a male dominate society …father, brother, father in law, husband, boy friend, son, colleague and the history goes on ….do women think they could be wrong in their decisions ……may be an internalized culture makes them feel safe when they ask ……so how should men then be is big question and very difficult to enrich or capacitate …. should it be inborn  …no but we do see a few successful to certain levels …how come ….the support of society, community, family is important for a women to march forward …..and this can happen ….women should understand that she can and it is with in her ……but can she perceive her and this where good people work and reach helps her.  Many women don’t know their rights …including those widowed and divorced

It is a painful to see women standing in court with their baby for a divorce

Every women, be it granny or mom or daughter or daughter in law or niece or friend  should have uniform thoughts about what a women should be and what she must do and her rights …..only then we can anticipate movement

I was addressing nearly 600 women in an garment industry on eve of International women;s day … I was talking about the first movement ….some where listening while others were talking among themselves or were running after their  child as if it was not for them …I felt it was because they felt it is not related to them and they cant do it

Such sad state of affairs

WOMEN  is surrounded by many evil things ….poverty, caste religion discrminations, illiteracy, cultural taboos and tradition etc she learn to live for others than for her self

Thanks for sharing this wonderful article

global films about youths

Films About Young People


Osama. About a 12-year-old girl whose widowed mother disguises her as a boy so they can go outside—based on a true story, the first Afghan film after the fall of the Taliban. 2003

Kandahar. About an Afghani girl who grows up in Canada, but returns to Afghanistan to find her sister under the Taliban regime. 2001

Kite Runner: Takes place in Afghanistan in the 1970s, about a Pashtun boy and underclass Hazara boy. 2007

Buzhashi Boys. Short film about two 14-year-old friends in Kabul who struggle to survive in the context of the national sport of a kind of horse polo. 2012


Valentin. Features an 8-year-old boy who lives with his grandmother, who dies. He makes friends with helpful adults. 2004


December Boys. About four orphans in the 1960s on a holiday at the beach. 2007

Rabbit-Proof Fence. True story about three indigenous girls (ages 8-14) who are kidnapped and taken to a missionary school in the 1930s because they are half white, and escape to travel hundreds of miles on foot with no food or water or map to get back home. The girls had no previous experience as actors. 2002

Mary & Max. A claymated feature film about a pen-friendship between Mary, a chubby lonely eight-year-old girl living in Melbourne, and Max Horovitz, a 44-year-old, obese man with Aspergers Syndrome living in New York. 2009

My Year Without Sex. A couple with two young children deal with consumer pressures to be sexy and sexual and struggle to stay in the middle class after the wife suffers a brain aneurysm. Her doctor tells her not to have sex for a year. 2008


City of God shows crime life in a favela/slum in Rio. 2002

Bus 174: A documentary about a former street kid who hijacks a city bus in Rio. 2003

Caminho das Nuvens: The Middle of the World. A poor, illiterate family ride their bikes 2000 miles to Rio de Janeiro to look for work. The teen-age son leaves the family to work as a bricklayer. 2003

Favela Rising. A former drug-dealer uses hip hop music and Afro-Brazilian dance for social change. 2005

City of Men. About two 18-year-old boys who grew up in the slums. 2007

Only When I Dance. 18-year-old Irlan succeeds as a ballet dancer, stating, “My greatest desire is to give my parents a better life.” Isabela, 17, struggles less successfully to leave slum life behind. Her dark skin keeps her from being accepted in a Brazilian dance company. 2009


Map of the Human Heart. About an Eskimo boy Avik, nicknamed Holy Boy, by a New Zealand filmmaker. It shows his corruption by western culture. 1993

Saint Ralph. A teen boy’s father died and his mother was in a coma in the 1950s. He wants to perform a miracle for her by winning a marathon race. 2004

Whole New Thing. Emerson, a 13-year old brilliant boy, has been home-schooled in rural Nova Scotia. His parents send him to middle school for help with math. He develops a crush on his male English teacher. He doesn’t like labels, says he’s not gay, but sends his teacher a love sonnet. 2005

Monsieur Lazhar. An Algerian immigrant takes over as a teacher in a middle school in Montreal after the previous teacher committed suicide. 2012.


Machuca. The film takes place in 1973, when the first socialist president democratically elected in a Latin-American country, President Salvador Allende is murdered. The story is about an upper-class boy who meets a lower-class boy when their Catholic school is integrated. Their friendship is torn apart by the military coup led by General Augusto Pinochet. 2004


The Road Home. An 18-year-old girl in a mountain village falls in love with the new 20-year-old schoolteacher. There’s no kissing in this love story, lots of eye contact and cooking food for him. 1999

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress.  During the Cultural Revolution, two intellectual city boys are sent to the countryside. We see the impact of the country on them, and visa versa, especially the young seamstress who falls in love with reading the books they snuck with them. 2005

Stolen Life. It shows the class system where city people look down on rural peasants. A freshman university student is corrupted by a scheming boyfriend. 2005

Mao’s Last Dancer: An Australian film about a peasant boy—the sixth son in his family—who was raised during the Chinese Cultural Revolution, trained in Beijing to be a ballet dancer. The film is based on his autobiography, with flash backs from his rural boyhood to dancing in Texas. 2009

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan. About the friendship of two women in present day Shanghai and two close women friends in the 19th century, played by the same actresses. The historical friends were bound in a Laotong agreement of sisterly love and wrote to each other in a secret language. Filmed in China, but produced by Chinese Americans. 2011


Kolya. A five-year-old Russian boy is cared for by a Czech bachelor during the Russian occupation in the 1980s. 1996

Eritria (East Africa)

Heart of Fire. Supposedly based on a true story about an Eritrean child-soldier, played by a 10-year-old actual refugee. 2008


Au Revoir Les Enfants. Tells the story of three Jewish boys who are taken from their school by the Nazis in 1944. 1987

Poinette. A girl who goes to live with her aunt and cousins when her mother dies. 1996.

To Be and to Have. A documentary about a dedicated teacher in a one-room schoolhouse in a rural French village. 2003

Ma Vie en Rose (My Life in Pink). A 7-year-old boy who likes to dress up in girls’ clothing. 1997

400 Blows. Francois Truffaut’s film takes place in a cruel boarding school. The young adolescent boy descends into petty crime. 1959

Amelie. An introverted young women works in a Paris bar and tries to help others. 2001

Blame it on Fidel. Anna is a 9-year-old girl in Paris in 1970. She has to cope with many changes when her parents become radical activists. 2006

The Fox and the Child. A 10-year-old girl explores nature in the mountains of Southern France. She is very brave, scaring away a wolf pack, an eagle, and a bear in her defense of a fox she gradually tames. The narration is in English. 2007

A Ma Soeur! Portrays the relationship between two sisters; 15-year-old Elena isn’t kind to her overweight 12 year-old sister Anais. 2001

The Kid with a Bike. An 11-year-old boy is abandoned by his father and finds a kind hairdresser to care for him. 2011

Hugo is set in 1930s Paris, about an orphaned boy who lives in a train station. The actor who plays him was 13. 2011, US film.


Beyond Silence. A girl raised by deaf-mute parents develops a love of playing clarinet. 1996

Run, Lola, Run. A girl helps her boyfriend raise money he lost, with three different scenarios. 1998.

Goodbye Lenin. Takes place before and after the fall of the Berlin Wall in East Berlin, 1989-1990. 2003

India (includes non-Indian films about Indians)

Dil Chahta Hai. Three recent college graduates (but played by actors in their 30s) explore their friendship and their beliefs about romantic love. They live with their wealthy families in Mumbai. They settle down with their female partners in the end.

Bend it Like Beckham. It’s not an Indian film but is about a 18-year-old Punjabi Sheik girl is a good soccer player, but her parents don’t think its proper for an Indian girl to run around in shorts, even though they live in London, but she persists. 2002

Born in Brothels. It follows the stories of several children growing up in the red-light district of Calcutta, and the impact made on them when they are given cameras to record their daily lives. 2004

Water. About exploitation of child widows abandoned by their families in India during the time of Gandhi in the 1930s. 2005 the same writer/director made Fire (1996) and Earth (1998). A book describing the challenges making Water is titled Shooting Water by the director’s daughter.

Like Stars on Earth. A young boy is dyslexic and sent to a boarding school. 2007

Slumdog Millionaire. A slum boy ends up on a quiz show and his friends as they grow up. 2008

Like Stars on Earth. A Mumbai family lives the modern dream with a successful businessman, a stay-at-home wife who gave up her career to care for her two sons. They don’t realize their youngest son fails in school because he is dyslexic and send him off to boarding school where his art teacher names his learning disability. 2007

Namesake. After an arranged marriage in Calcutta, the couple comes to New York for his work. The film is about their son’s attempts to integrate Indian and American culture. 2007

Outsourced. An unexceptional American film about an American man who is sent to manage Indian workers in a call center near Mumbai. He learns about the importance of time with family and other Indian traditions. 2006


Children of Heaven. Brother Ali loses his sister Zahra’s school shoes and the children try to figure out how to share shoes so they can both go to school. Farsi language. 1997

Ten. About a woman taxi driver in Tehran and her conversation with her passengers including her son who is upset over his parents’ divorce. Reveals women’s issues as the boy is the only male in the film. 2002

Leila. A modern young couple in Tehran face traditional pressures when she finds out she can’t conceive a baby, so they find a second wife for him. 2000

The Color of Paradise. 2000 An 8-year-old blind boy is raised by his grandmother after his father rejects him.

Offside. 2007. Girls try to disguise themselves as boys so they can sneak into a soccer stadium, but they’re caught.

A Separation. A middle-class couple in Tehran separate because the mother wants to leave Iran. The father brings in a lower-class caregiver for his father who has Alzheimer’s disease. She brings her young daughter with her. Their 11-year-old daughter Termeh is caught in the middle of her parents’ disagreements. She lies to prevent her father from going to jail after an incident where he pushes the caregiver out of his door and she has a miscarriage.  Masoud Ferasati, an Iranian writer close to government said: “The image of our society that A Separation depicts is the dirty picture Westerners are wishing for.” It’s similar to the film Divorce Iranian Style. 2011


Turtles Can Fly: After the fall of Saddam Hussein, a brother and sister and other orphans make money by digging up live mines and selling them. They often are missing limbs due to exploding bombs. Very sad, also about the rape and pregnancy of a young girl. 2005


Unsettled. It tells the story of the eviction of young Israelis and their families from the Gaza Strip at the end of almost 40-year Israeli occupation and return to the Palestinians. 2007

Five Broken Cameras. Mostly filmed by a West Bank farmer about the encroachment of Israeli settlements and the impact on his family. 2012

The documentary Jerusalem follows three teen girls in Jerusalem, Jewish, Christian and Muslim. 2013


Nobody Knows. Four abandoned kids, ages 5 to 12 make it on their own in a small apartment in Tokyo. The 12-year-old older brother takes over as head of the family. He is played by a teen actor born in 1990. 2004

Honey and Clover. The relationships of five Hama art college students. 2006

I Wish. Two young brothers live apart with their divorced mother or father and try to get them back together. 2012


Captain Abu Raed is about a janitor who tries to enliven the difficult lives of the children in his neighborhood with imaginative travel stories. 2008


Nairobi Half Life. A young aspiring actor, Mwas migrates from a village in rural Kenya to Nairobi and is exposed to slum life and gang crime. (2102)

South Korea

A Tale of Two Sisters. Two sisters go live with their father and mean stepmother. 2005

In Between Days is about a young girl from South Korea and her lonely coming of age in Canada. 2006

Comrade Kim Goes Flying. A young female coal miner in North Korea wants to be an acrobat and succeeds. Europeans helped make the film. 2012


Where Do We go Now? Christian and Muslim women work together for peace in their village. 2011


The Zone. A walled compound of wealthy families in Mexico City is broken into by three teen boys who try to steal from one of the homes. One of slum boys, Miguel, hides out and is befriended by another teen who lives in the compound, Alejandro. The film shows the gap between rich and poor, how the police can be bribed and the rich take justice into their own hands. It’s violent. 2007

Which Way Home. A documentary of children riding freight trains to reunite with their families in the US. In Spanish, by American filmmakers. The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants from Honduras and El Salvador. 2009


Mongolian Ping Pong. Boys find a ping-pong ball in a creek and think it has magical special powers. 2005

The Cave of the Yellow Dog. A girl finds a puppy but her father won’t let her keep it. 2005

The Story of the Weeping Camel. A family of nomadic shepherds raises a white camel calf. 2004

New Zealand

Whale Rider, the Whangara Maori people believe their savior ancestor rode home on the back of a whale and that leadership goes to first-born males believed to be his ancestor. A young girl, Pai, challenges this tradition. 2002


Emmanuelle’s Gift, the true story of a teenager who bicycled all over Nigeria with only one leg to raise funds and awareness/rights for the disabled in that country, who generally had no rights and no income. 2005

Monday’s Girls. About modern vs. traditional reaction to a young women’s initiation ceremony. 1993

War Dance. Children in a refugee camp in northern Uganda compete in their country’s national music and dance festival. 2007

Saudi Arabia

Wadjda. The first Saudi film by a woman filmmaker, a 10-year-old girl lives in Riyadh with her young mother who struggles with her absenteeism husband who is looking for a second wife to give him a son. Wadja wants to buy a bicycle to race a neighborhood boy, hoping to win her school’s Koran recitation competition to win the cash prize. She gets in trouble at her school for her independence. 2012 (A clip is available

South Africa

Yesterday. An illiterate Zulu farmwoman, whose husband works in the mines in Johannesburg, learns she had AIDS. She is determined to stay alive until her daughter starts school. Shows village life. 2004

Beat the Drum is about orphans who live on the streets of Johannesburg. 2002

Skin. Documents the life of a girl with darker skin and curly hair born to white parents during apartheid in 1960s. The authorities want to classify her as “colored” although her parents are white. 2002


Butterfly. A boy starts school in the 1930s. His life is disrupted by the fascist takeover of government. 1982

Carol’s Journey. A12-year-old moves from New York to Spain during the Spanish Civil War. Her mother is dying and her father is fighting with the Abraham Lincoln Brigade.  She resists fascism. 2002

Carol’s Journey. A girl’s travels to Spain during the Civil War. 2002


God Grew Tired of Us. Documentary about three of the lost boys of Sudan who walked for five years to escape war and ended up in the US. 2006

Lost Boys of Sudan. A documentary about two orphaned young boys to who make it to the US. 2004.


My Life as a Dog. A troubled boy who is upset about the loss of a parent pretends he is a dog. 1985

Fanny and Alexander.  In the early 1900s, a brother and sister’s father dies and their mother remarries a stern stepfather. 1982


Yi Yi: A One and a Two. Shows the issues facing an urban middle-class family in Taipei. The family includes dual-career parents, a teen daughter and a boy, age 8. 2006


Bliss tells the story of an ex-commando who is ordered by his family to kill his 17-year-old cousin, an “honor killing,” because she was raped and “tainted.” It contrasts the differences between rural and urban lifestyles and shows the girl’s increasing strength to stand up for herself. 2007

United Kingdom

To Sir, With Love. Sidney Poiter plays a black teacher who gives up an engineering job to work with poor white students in an inner city school in London. 1967

Millions. An 8-year-old Irish boy finds a suitcase full of money. 2005

Billy Elliott. A coal miner’s son, age 11, loves ballet, and starts studying in secret to be a dancer.  The film is set in 1984. 2000

About a Boy. A 12-year-old boy has a depressed single mother and becomes attached to a self-centered bachelor who gradually matures. 2002

The Girl in the Café. A young woman becomes friends with a British civil servant and accompanies him to the G-8 summit, where she becomes obsessed with the plight of children all over the world who are dying from preventable causes. She keeps interrupting their formal G-8 social events to confront them about their refusal to take action. Includes information about child poverty. 2005

I Capture the Castle. Teenage sisters grow up in the 1930s an eccentric and impoverished English family. The dad’s a famous writer who has writer’s block. 2003

Driving Lesson, 2006. A 17-year-old British boy learns to stand up for himself, with the help of an older woman. It’s a difficult time as his parents quarrel and break up.

Princess Kailuani, 2010. The story of a young Hawaiian princess’ fight against the annexation of Hawaii by the US in the late 19th century. Here is what she said when she lobbied in the US:

Today, I, a poor weak girl with not one of my people with me and all these ‘Hawaiian’ statesmen against me, have strength to stand up for the rights of my people.”

Submarine. About a Welch boy named Oliver and his relationship with classmate Jordana in the 1980s. 2011


Life of Pi. A popular film about a teenage Indian boy who survives being shipwrecked in a boat with a tiger. The first-time actor who plays Pi was 17-year-old Suraj Sharma from New Delhi. It explores the idea that there are multiple ways to look at philosophical questions and religion. 2012

Pump up the Volume. A high school student starts an FM pirate radio station in Phoenix. 1990

Almost Famous. A teenage boy writes for Rolling Stone magazine covering a rock band in 1973. 2000

Bully. A documentary about youth bullying, including social media. It follows five young people and their families over a year. The film “offers insight into the often cruel world of the lives of bullied children.” 2012.

Harold and Maude tells the story of Harold, a wealthy teenager’s friendship with Maude, age 79, as they attend funerals together. 1971

Bruno. An 8-year-old boy has a dream about an angel and concluded that like angels, he should wear dresses, which he calls holy vestments, even in spelling bees. There’s lots of resistance from the nuns at his Catholic school and from his police officer father, but his mother and grandmother back him up and he wins the national bee. 2000

Freedom Writers. A true story, it answers the question “what was so great about Anne Frank’s writing?”  The other theme is that seeing kids as whole people can turn the worst racist gang members into inspired creators. The kids and the teacher have started a foundation to spread her methods.

The Great Debaters. Based on a true story about a 1930s debate team at a black college in Texas. 2007

Quinceañera. A Mexican-American girl in Los Angeles prepares for her 15th birthday. 2007

Moonrise Kingdom. A 12-year-old boy and girl, played by actors that age, runaway to escape the unhappy adult world they see around them. It takes place in 1965 on a New England island. 2012

Remember the Titans. A black coach works with a Virginia high school football team of black and white players in 1971. 2000

School of Rock.  A rock singer forms a band of his fifth-grade students to compete in a contest. 2003

Little Women. Four sisters grow up Massachusetts during the time of the Civil War while their father is fighting in the war. 1994

The Devil’s Playground.  A documentary about Amish youth who are brought up in a restricted environment (no education past 8th grade, no cars). When they’re 16 they’re turned loose to experience all the decadent delights the world has to offer, including drugs, sex, drinking, and cars. Then they have to decide if they want to give it all up and become Amish for the rest of their lives, or try to make it on their own (with no education and no family support of any kind) in the outside world. 2002

In America: an Irish immigrant family comes to live in a tenement in New York City, told from the point of view of the little girls. 2003

Liar, Liar: a little boy is disgusted by his lawyer father lying all the time, and makes a birthday wish that he has to tell the truth for 24 hours. It exposes the lies that are part of the adult world. 1997

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. A very intelligent 11-year-old boy (played by a 14-year-old) who was inconclusively tested for Asberger’s Syndrome, is obsessive about trying to find a lock that will fit a key he found in his father’s closet after his father was killed in the crash into the World Trade Towers. 2011

The Boys of Baraka. A documentary about a school in Africa where delinquent black teenage boys from Baltimore are sent to help them get on track, and they do.  The funding for the school is cut due to political upheaval.

Hanna is about a 14-year-old genetically bred to be a super warrior. Not only an outstanding warrior, she also has a super memory and knows many languages. She is a killer who wants to stop the killing as she travels from Finland to Morocco to Germany. The actress who played her is 18 and grew up in Ireland. 2011

Margaret. About a 17-year old girl in New York City who struggles with the moral ramifications of having witnessed an accident. 2011.

Beasts of the Southern Wild. A six-year-old black girl lives ion an island in the Louisiana bayou with her alcoholic and sick father in poverty without electricity, both of them first-time actors. Her father refers to her as “man,” and teaches her to be a tough and survivor. 2012


War Dance. Ugandan schools compete in music competition. The focus is on kids from a refugee camp from the Acholi tribe. Some of the children were forced to be soldiers, some are orphans. 2006


Hermano. Two teen soccer players live in a Caracas slum, one of them is in a gang. 2012


Buffalo Boy. A 15-year-old buffalo herder deals with six-month floods during the rainy season in the 1940s. 2003

Owl and the Sparrow. A 10-year-old orphan girl lives on the streets of Saigon. American director, 2006


Global Voices is a collection of international documentaries, many of which focus on youth. Some can be viewed online or the WORLD TV channel.


This website lists free videos about girls internationally:


Other films about global youth: Timothy Shary and Alexandra Seibel. Youth Culture in Global Cinema. University of Texas Press, 2006. They list over 700 international films. US films are listed in Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema (2002).

The authors list themes about global youth films in Appendix B. They select these films as classics due to the fame of their stars and/or directors; Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1950), Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, U.S., 1955), Aparajito/The Unvanquished (Satyajit Ray, India, 1957), Les Quatre cents coups/The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, France, 1959), Ivanovo detstvo/Ivan’s Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, 1962), Walkabout (Nicholas Roeg, Australia, 1971), Diabolo menthe/Peppermint Soda (Diane Kurys, France, 1977), Mitt liv som hund/My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrôm, Sweden, 1985), Au revoir les enfants/Goodbye Children (Louis Malle, France, 1987), and Europa Europa/Agnieszka (Holland, Poland, 1990).

Global Voices is a collection of international documentaries, many of which focus on youth. Some can be viewed online or the WORLD TV channel.


This website lists free videos about girls internationally:


Other films about global youth: Timothy Shary and Alexandra Seibel. Youth Culture in Global Cinema. University of Texas Press, 2006. They list over 700 international films. US films are listed in Generation Multiplex: The Image of Youth in Contemporary American Cinema (2002).

The authors list themes about global youth films in Appendix B. They select these films as classics due to the fame of their stars and/or directors; Los Olvidados (Luis Buñuel, Mexico, 1950), Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, U.S., 1955), Aparajito/The Unvanquished (Satyajit Ray, India, 1957), Les Quatre cents coups/The 400 Blows (Francois Truffaut, France, 1959), Ivanovo detstvo/Ivan’s Childhood (Andrei Tarkovsky, Soviet Union, 1962), Walkabout (Nicholas Roeg, Australia, 1971), Diabolo menthe/Peppermint Soda (Diane Kurys, France, 1977), Mitt liv som hund/My Life as a Dog (Lasse Hallstrôm, Sweden, 1985), Au revoir les enfants/Goodbye Children (Louis Malle, France, 1987), and Europa Europa/Agnieszka (Holland, Poland, 1990).

Award-winners “The Secret of Kells” (Ireland), “Alamar” (Mexico/Italy), “Children of Heaven” (Iran), “The Great Match” (set in Mongolia, Brazil, Niger).[i]

The best international coming of age films:


Chahinaz: What Rights for Women?

by Samia Chala and Patrice Barrat

Through her curiosity and self-discovery, Chahinaz, a 20-year-old Algerian student, begins to wonder what life is like for women in other Muslim countries and around the world.


The Boy Mir – Ten Years in Afghanistan

by Phil Grabsky

Follow eight-year-old Mir over 10 years in post-9/11 Afghanistan.


Afghanistan Unveiled

by Brigitte Brault

Filmed by the first-ever team of women video journalists trained in Afghanistan, this uncompromising film reveals the effects of the Taliban’s repressive rule and U.S.-sponsored bombing campaign on Afghan women.

Global Voices, Independent Lens

Bridge Over the Wadi

by Barak Heymann and Tomer Heymann

Bridge Over the Wadi follows a group of young Arab and Jewish children for one year as their grade school attempts a bi-national and bi-lingual program.

Global Voices, Global Perspectives Collection


China Blue

by Micha X. Peled

Jasmine left her village in a remote part of China to get a job and help her family. Now she and her teenage friends at the blue jean factory are trying to survive in a brutal work environment.

Independent Lens, Global Voices


Education, Education

by Weijun Chen

As China’s higher education system becomes more privatized, a new generation of Chinese youth are losing access to it.

Global Perspectives Collection, Global Voices, Why Poverty?


Estilo Hip Hop

by Virgilio Bravo and Loira Limbal

Estilo Hip Hop chronicles the lives of three hip-hop enthusiasts from Brazil, Chile, and Cuba who firmly believe that hip hop can change the world.

Global Voices

Watch it online

Iron Ladies of Liberia

by Daniel Junge, Siatta Scott-Johnson, Henry Ansbacher, and Jonathan Stack

Go behind the scenes with Africa’s first freely elected female head of state, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, of Liberia.

Lakshmi and Me

by Nishtha Jain and Smriti Nevatia

In this intimate examination of the relationship between Indian filmmaker Nishtha Jain and her young maid, Lakshmi, Jain holds up a mirror to her own culture and the pervasive caste system that can still determine an individual’s fate in life.

Independent Lens, Global Perspectives Collection, Global Voices

Lost Boys of Sudan

by Jon Shenk and Megan Mylan

Lost Boys of Sudan is a feature-length documentary that follows two young refugees of Sudan’s civil war through their first year in America.

POV, Global Voices

Watch it online



by Justine Shapiro and B.Z. Goldberg

A compelling and humorous take on the Middle East conflict from the perspectives of seven Palestinian and Israeli children living only minutes apart in Jerusalem but locked in separate worlds.

Global Voices, POV

Vietnam: The Next Generation

by Sandra Northrop

Today, three quarters of Vietnam’s population is under the age of 30 — too young to remember the war, yet old enough to have witnessed its devastating aftermath. Meet Vietnam’s new generation, reaping newfound opportunities while reshaping their country’s future.

Global Voices, Independent Lens


ItWelcome to the World

by Brian Hill

Welcome to the World asks: Is it worse to be born poor than to die poor?

Global Voices, Women and Girls Lead, Global Perspectives Collection, Why Poverty?

Watch it online

Young Yakuza

by Jean Pierre Limosin and Christian Baute

When a troubled young man rejects school, jobs, and family, his desperate mother decides to take one last chance to save him — by handing him over to the Japanese mafia for one year and letting him choose his own path.

Global Perspectives Collection, Global Voices

Watch it online


Egyptian youth protests presidential elections with humor

10336720_10152483222392682_7961980833370469410_n As you may know, the presidential elections are currently taking place in Egypt, May 2014. A lot of Egyptians are NOT supporting the play that the system chooses to call “presidential elections.” For this reason, and in an act of protestation, many Egyptians have opted to invalidate their votes on the voting papers. It is in this time that the hilarity of the Egyptian people makes itself clear. Some chose to draw; others wrote a punchline or a joke. However, this has to be my favourite. It says:

“The entirety of the Egyptian People hereby extend their warmest, heartfelt regards to actress Emma Watson for her Bachelor Degree.”

I thought you may enjoy this! I thought it was gold!

Sexism OK that boys will be boys, or “lad culture”?

Laura Bates started the Everyday Sexism Project online in the UK in 2012 because,


In this ‘liberal’, ‘modern’ age, to complain about everyday sexism or suggest that you are unhappy about the way in which women are portrayed and perceived renders you likely to be labeled ‘uptight’, ‘prudish’, a ‘militant feminist’, or a ‘bra burner’. The Everyday Sexism project aims to take a step towards gender equality, by proving wrong those who tell women that they can’t complain because we are equal. It is a place to record stories of sexism faced on a daily basis, by ordinary women, in ordinary places. To show that sexism exists in abundance in the UK workplace and that it is very far from being a problem we no longer need to discuss. . . .


A year later Bates was surprised by 25,000 entries from 15 countries, about 1,000 entries posted each week, enough to assemble in a book.[i] She explained that the goal was not to solve sexism but to take the first step of realizing it exists. Bates was also surprised by some of the hate male she received; a reviewer on accused her of being a whiny woman. She was encouraged by women who wrote about fighting back, like the jogger who made T-shirts saying “honk if you love feminism.” The success of her project indicates Second Wave consciousness-raising has to be done all over again.

A similar effort on Twitter started with a  #YesAllWomen hashtag. “Let’s discuss what ‘not all men’ might do, but women must fear. Kaye M.” This was in response to a misogynist mass shooting by a student in Santa Barbara, California in May 2014, to punish the women who rejected him as he stated on video posted before his death. It was a reference to “not all men” meme saying that not all men are violent. At its peak, 51,000 tweets an hour named the harassment, threats, and abuse that women face from men who are socialized to that that’s boys being boys, or what’s called “lad culture” in the UK.


[i] Laura Bates. Everyday Sexism. Simon & Schuster, 2014.

Kat Banyard. The Equality Illusion. Faber & Faber. 2010.

Power of the Individual to Make Change

It always seems impossible until it’s done. Nelson Mandela


Big change looks impossible when you start and inevitable when you finish.

Bob Hunter, founder of Greenpeace

Don’t wait for the leaders. Do it alone. Person to person. Mother Teresa

We are all agents of transfiguration. Go forth and transform your personal relationships, your community, your world, so it becomes hospitable to joy, to justice, to freedom, to peace. Desmond Tutu

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.  Dalai Lama XIV

Sexism in an Indian University

Saanvi (not her real name as she’s afraid of reprisal for her criticism) is a student at a prestigious public technology university In the state of Uttarakhand. She emailed that she doesn’t feel she’s living in 2014 because the university has pathetic and “serious gender issues” with no Women’s Studies courses or a student women’s center. Female students have a curfew for their dormitory and are not allowed to leave the campus without a permit and accompanied by a family member, like a jail, but the males have free access. Some visit the red light district in Delhi. The university frowns on a male and female couple walking together; a visiting administrator saw a few couples and made new rules against them. “The worst thing is the girls themselves are very meek. No one wants to risk their degree or no one wants to work hard for their rights. Why? Because they already have been brought up in male-dominant homes.” I asked if she had protested the double standard. She wrote an anonymous letter to the Dean of Student Welfare with no results. She’s afraid that “if the university administration finds out about my complaining nature, they might play with my future.”