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What to know: This documentary reminds women that, although it may seem like we are regressing in society, women can still prevail.
GIRLS SHOULD STAY AT HOME is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 10-18
10 minutes
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Girls Should Stay At Home features three women's experiences with sexism and how they worked to overcome prejudices! It offers crucial advice and encouragement to young women and girls facing many of the same obstacles.

The storyline follows three women that explain how they overcame prejudices and give advice to women and girls looking to do the same.

I like how the three women's experiences differ wildly, but their advice applies to almost any situation. Although they dealt with a variety of financial, physical, and societal hurdles, they all managed to succeed and even become famous for doing so.

A shot that impressed me is the scene where the camera keeps pace with Ms. Prandit. It is surprisingly smooth for a handheld camera, especially one turning to focus on the subject. The film itself is a series of interviews with real women, so no costumes are necessary. The attires fits the setting of the documentary.

Since the film is a documentary about the lives of several women, the locations mostly consist of their homes. However, I see the shot on the basketball court differently after learning about how this woman had to travel every time she wanted to practice. The music is minimal and is reserved for the beginning and transitions between interviews. Although it helps to diminish the awkward silence, the sitar music does not fit the somber facts being displayed in the beginning. The film is made by Neel Menon. Geeta Chauhan, the first woman interviewed, is an international basketball star. Rajandi Pandit, the second woman, is India's first female private investigator and has received numerous awards. Anita Lobo, the third woman, is Mumbai's only female traffic warden and has been the subject of multiple news articles. The person who stands out the most is Ms. Chauhan for how many obstacles she had to face and how successful she later became.

The message of this film is to never let pressure from society or your peers tell you what you can and cannot do. If any of the women had listened and obeyed, they would have never become as successful and happy as they currently are.

This film encouraged me to continue learning about science and influenced me to research statistics on gender equality around the world. The results I found were extremely sobering and made me realize how important these women's messages are. My favorite part is when Ms. Chauhan says that she is planning to participate in the Paralympics. After hearing about all the setbacks she overcame, learning that she finally triumphed was thrilling.

I give Girls Should Stay Home 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, plus adults. This film addresses serious issues with gender roles and encourages girls to subvert those roles and be independent. This counts as a special interest topic, specifically feminism.

Reviewed by Eden T., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic

I love the societal aspect of the documentary Girls Should Stay at Home. It shows how powerful women truly are and how they should still be treated like they were 3,000 years ago. This documentary reminds women that, although it may seem like we are regressing in society, women can still prevail.

This documentary profiles three women in a raw, down-to-earth style. The women discuss their struggles living in an unfair society where it is difficult for women to advance. Despite this, the women tell their success stories and how they made it to where they are today.

Being a woman, of course, I enjoyed the story. Interviewing women in modern day India who discuss their challenges and what daily life is like for them is inspiring. The women don't sugarcoat their experiences getting to where they have arrived, which shows the audience that yes, the journey may be very rough, but it is possible.

I enjoyed that the shots are not strictly of the women being interviewed. We get a sense of a typical day for a woman in India. We also see shots of these women in their personal environment. It is a small added touch, but without those shots I feel as if it would be more difficult to try and immerse ourselves in their lives. Observing the women in their own homes or places where they spend a lot of their time males it very more personal as opposed to interviewing in a studio. The music in the beginning seems to be authentic Indian music which is played while subtitles describe Indian culture; I enjoyed that. Since these women all play themselves, there is no judgment on "acting." All the women articulate well and seem quite comfortable in front of a camera. The director seems to be the key influencer. Neel Menon directs, writes and produces this film. Having to complete all the tasks to create a documentary can be tough and he does it with such grace. There seem to be some audio issues in part three, but otherwise, the production values are excellent. I was born and raised in America and I love learning about different cultures as it broadens my outlook on life. It is intriguing to learn that women in India were worshipped and deemed equal with men centuries ago and now there has been a shift where that is not the case. That is something I would like to research more. Some of my favorite parts are the beginning when the background information is accompanied by sitar music.

The message of the film is that women should never be thought of as less than men.

I give Girls Should Stay at Home 4.5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 12 to 18, plus adults. I believe that all people should watch this documentary, regardless of gender identity. It is up-lifting. People should be aware of what women can accomplish and perhaps it will inspire women to go against the norm and fulfill what they love to do in life. Those interested in Indian culture and in women's rights would find this particularly appealing. Reviewed by Tor Ferrante, KIDS FIRST! Reviewer

A look at how three women in Mumbai, India have battled adversity to hold their own.
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