DBP Sponsors Life-Changing Documentary “I Am A Girl”

Mar 16, 15 DBP Sponsors Life-Changing Documentary “I Am A Girl”

Thursday evening arrived with much anticipation of a fun New York City evening atthe American premier of the film, I Am A Girl, hosted by Girl Be Heard and sponsored by Duggal Big Picture Foundation. Excitement was high as we entered Chelsea Bow Tie Cinemas and were greeted by 6 beautiful GBH posters produced by Duggal Big Picture.A red carpet was rolled out by a stunning step and repeat backdrop also produced by Duggal. Guests were interviewed before and after, adding to the festive mood of the much anticipated premiere.

None in our group, however, anticipated how profoundly affected we would feel after watching filmmaker Rebecca Barry’s powerful opus. The film “I Am A Girl” follows the lives of seven girls from across the world and the hardships and struggles they all have to face. Some stories, around issues like extreme low self-esteem, possessive or abusive boyfriends, loss of family members—are relatable. Others, like a young Cambodian woman forced to prostitute herself to support her family, are deeply shocking. Everyone agreed after watching the film that it put our lives and our struggles into perspective. Each first-world woman faces obstacles specific to her gender, and while it isn’t right to downplay or diminish these hurdles, it is certainly a wake up call to see what women in countries like Papua New Guinea, who give birth alone; or in Afghanistan, who risk their lives to get an education each day, have to endure. Suddenly, it seems like a luxury that the Australian upper-class girl in severe depression is able to get medical treatment for that.

There was hardly a dry eye in the theater after the performance, which ended with a standing ovation. After a rousing rap/song performance by Breani, a Girl Be Heard member and the US representative in the film, it was time for a “Talk Back” with a GBH panel of Rebecca Barry, Breani, and her mother, who was featured prominently in the film. Audience members asked questions like, “how did you resist not interfering, like killing the Cambodian girls abusive boyfriend?” or “how did you resist not giving them money, knowing how much of a difference it could make?” and Barry responded admirably.

All proceeds from this event went to the launch of anew educational curriculum, written by GBH and Rebecca Barry, which will expose and challenge gender stereotypes and social justice issues in schools. This program has already received a federal grant and wide support from across the country including the National Teacher’s Association.

After a special shout out to Duggal, the night was over. It is usually a cliché, but in this case it held true: none of us will see the world in the same way again. For Girl Be Heard, it is on to the White House, where the next screening of “I am a Girl” will take place. It was truly an honor for those of us at DBP to support a movie and a movement of such beauty, gravity, importance.