5 films that get the message out about child marriage
Tall as the Baobab Tree (drama)
American director Jeremy Teicher presents a feature film that highlights the blurry terrain between harsh economic realities and child marriage. Two sisters from rural Senegal move with their family to the city to attend school. When their family’s fortunes take a turn for the worst, the youngest girl is promised to an early marriage by her father. Will the eldest be able to find a way to save her sister from her unwanted fate?
The film is available today for download via iTunes, GooglePlay and other digital distribution services.
Geeta (short documentary)
From India’s digital entertainment company Culture Machine, and their video division Blush Originals, comes an eye-opening short documentary about early marriage. Married at age 15, Geeta Tandon was repeatedly beaten and sexually assaulted by her husband; she gathered the courage to leave at age 20 and went on to become Bollywood’s first professional stuntwoman. The documentary is edited to have an urban feel and offers inspiration for young girls who strive to decide their own futures.
Together: Ending child marriage in Zambia (short documentary)
In this short documentary produced by the NGO Girls Not Brides, we see how Zambia’s government and girls’ rights activists in that country are mobilizing to end early, forced marriage. With a focus on community education and easing social change, groups like Population Council and Girls Not Brides are working to show girls and their parents that there are better options. Featuring 17-year-old Miriam and the voices and images of women working on the ground in Zambia, this film gives hope for a better future for girls wherever child marriage is still in practice.
Jabilar (short child sponsorship documentary)
Ghanian teenager Jabilar was promised to a 60-year-old man who already had two wives. When her father warned her she would have to marry at the age of 13, her school’s headmaster called upon local partners of the international children’s charity Christian Children’s Fund of Canada (CCFC) to help her father see the long-term benefits of letting Jabilar stay in school. With its call to action via child sponsorship, this video puts a human face and real story to the problem of early, forced marriage.
This feature film was executive-produced by Angelina Jolie and has the sheen of the big screen in every way. Inspired by true events, it tells the story of a rural Ethiopian teen, Hirut, who accidentally harms the man she is being forced to marry. With the help of a women’s legal-aide lawyer, the girl bravely faces her community and the deeply rooted tradition of child marriage. The film is available for viewing on iTunes.