‘Girl Rising’ Illuminates the Global Value of Educating Young Women

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Academy Award-nominated director Richard E. Robbins has crafted an innovative new feature film about the power of education to change a girl–and the world.

Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Liam Neeson, Cate Blanchette, Selena Gomez and other A-list actors contribute voice performances to Girl Rising, which also features original music from Academy Award winner Rachel Portman, in collaboration with legendary composer Hans Zimmer. The film spotlights the stories of girls like Sokha, an orphan who rises from the dumps of Cambodia to become a star student and an accomplished dancer; Suma, who composes music to help her endure forced servitude in Nepal and today crusades to free others; and Ruksana, an Indian “pavement-dweller” whose father sacrifices his own basic needs for his daughter’s dreams.

Each girl is paired with a renowned writer from her native country. Authors Edwidge Danticat, Sooni Taraporevala Aminatta Forna, and others interpret the girls’ stories, retaining the profound resonance of their individual voices. Each girl’s story is unique, but the obstacles they face are ubiquitous. Like the more than 60 million girls around the world who dream of going to school, what these young women want most is to be students. Now, by sharing their personal struggles and triumphs, they have also become teachers.

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