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Critical Acclaim for ‘The World Before Her’ – Available for Streaming Through October 16

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Read what critics and journalists have to say about the POV film that aired on Monday, September 16 and will be streaming for free online until October 16, 2013!

The World Before Her is a tale of two Indias. In one, Ruhi Singh is a small-town girl competing in Bombay to win the Miss India pageant—a ticket to stardom in a country wild about beauty contests. In the other India, Prachi Trivedi is the young, militant leader of a fundamentalist Hindu camp for girls, where she preaches violent resistance to Western culture, Christianity and Islam. Moving between these divergent realities, the film creates a lively, provocative portrait of the world’s largest democracy at a critical transitional moment—and of two women who hope to shape its future. Winner, World Documentary Competition Award, 2012 Tribeca Film Festival. A co-presentation with the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM).

“A fascinating study of the forces at work in a vast, complex country struggling to straddle modern and ancient values in the 21st century.”
The Christian Science Monitor

Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“The World Before Her offers a portrait of two women and two Indias—the urban and the rural, the capitalistic and fundamentalist, the modern and the traditional.”
— New York Daily News

“With extraordinary access, Pahuja illuminates extraordinary conflicts and contradictions facing modern girls.”
Alan Scherstuhl, Village Voice

“Extreme choices and attitudes confronting women in India are laid bare in Nisha Pahuja’s quietly shocking film.”
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

“In Nisha Pahuja’s brilliant documentary The World Before Her, the controversial politics of pageantry transcend borders. . . . The documentary’s India is one struggling to define its own relationship with the present and the past, and by extension its vision for the future.”
Matt Brennan, IndieWire

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POV Staff
POV Staff
POV (a cinema term for "point of view") is television's longest-running showcase for independent non-fiction films. POV premieres 14-16 of the best, boldest and most innovative programs every year on PBS. Since 1988, POV has presented over 300 films to public television audiences across the country. POV films are known for their intimacy, their unforgettable storytelling and their timeliness, putting a human face on contemporary social issues.
  • Ruparamesvari Dasi

    Found the video extremely disturbing. Both young women express the extremes of their cultural climate upbringing. The quasi religious one pretending to Sanatan Dharma while being nothing more the Kali Yugic degenerate caste system, is most disgusting It is expressed in its extremity by the beauty contestant who’s mother was ostracized simply because she wanted to not kill or abandon her newly born baby daughter. And it makes one wonder what sort of torture Prachi’s father will use on her (both gross and subtle) to force her eventually into the marriage he decides on. It is pathetic the girl is trying so desperately for her father’s approval she hasn’t the slightest honest sense of Self or genuine self worth. Impersonaism at its peak. Would have liked to see something more hopeful for Indian women and India overall than a so called choice between shallow and superficial materialism and twisted and scripturally misquoted religious fanaticism. What about the initiatives that are truly trying to uplift, inspire and educate women to take the fullest possible part they can to truly fulfill themselves and positively contribute to their society’s progressive growth at a grass roots level.