Young, beautiful, and ambitious, Ankita and Ruhi compete in the Miss India pageant for the chance at a career in the beauty industry, one of the few opportunities for women to find success and empowerment in contemporary India. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Miss India is Durga Vahini, the women's wing of the Hindu fundamentalist movement. Filming for the first time within a Durga Vahini camp, director Nisha Pahuja offsets the pageant narrative with that of camp leader Prachi, a fiery and compelling figure expressing a very different voice in the debate over women's issues.
Nisha Pahuja's The World Before Her dramatizes the tension between traditional and modern perspectives toward women in today's India through the juxtaposition of these two very different outlets for girls. Initially representing the two threads as mutually exclusive worldviews, Pahuja ultimately draws surprising parallels in the way women are perceived and the opportunities that are afforded them at both extremes, convincingly depicting each as real sources of both oppression and empowerment. The World Before Her is a riveting, thoughtful profile of the fundamental contradictions of a country in transition.
CAST & CREDITS
Directed by Nisha Pahuja and Nisha Pahuja
Nisha Pahuja learned filmmaking while working as a researcher for some of Canada's brightest documentary talents. She co-wrote and directed Diamond Road, which received the 2008 Gemini Award for best documentary series. Her Bollywood Bound was seen around the world and won a Gemini in 2002.
Director of Photography
Derek Rogers, Mrinal Desai
Cornelia Principe, Nisha Pahuja
Ed Barreveld, Andy Cohen, Nisha Pahuja, Mike Chamberlain
Rush will be offered when advanced tickets for a screening or event are no longer available. The Rush system functions as a standby line that will form at the venue approximately one hour prior to scheduled start time. Admittance is based on availability and will begin roughly 10 minutes prior to program start time. Rush Tickets are the same price as advance tickets and are payable upon entry.