Hey there dorks! It’s time for another contest! This time with a chance to see one of the best documentaries of the year at the Bloor Cinema in Toronto, THE WORLD BEFORE HER this coming Friday night. The film continues its run at the theatre this week after opening last Friday, but we want to give 4 lucky winners pairs of passes to see the film at 9:45pm on Friday, November 16th.
Via unprecedented access, The World Before Her contrasts the wide-eyed ambitions of 20 hand-picked contestants determined to win the Miss India pageant, and the behind-the-scenes reality of Hindu fundamentalist camps for young girls that are run by the women’s wing of a militant movement.
The film sees the young women contestants from across India arrive in Bombay for a month-long beauty “boot camp,” where winning the coveted title would mean instant stardom, a lucrative career path, and freedom from the constraints of a patriarchal society. It is the ultimate glamour event in a country that has gone mad for beauty contests.
But as its popularity has exploded, so have furious protests over its Western-style “decadence.” As the pageant unfolds, director Nisha Pahuja travels to another corner of India to visit a bi-annual training camp for young girls run by the Durgha Vahini, the women’s wing of a militant fundamentalist movement. Through lectures and physical combat training, the girls learn what it means to be “good” Hindu women and how to fight corrupting outside influences by any means necessary. This is the first time that a film crew has been allowed to enter these camps.
The contrast between the vehement determination of the pageant contestants to obtain a title that could change their lives forever, and the passionate desire of the camp leaders to fight and even die for their beliefs, is at times overpowering. Nisha has effectively balanced both these perspectives through a provocative portrait of the world’s largest democracy at a critical transitional moment.
Check out our interview with director Nisha Pahuja here, but for your chance to win, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with WORLD BEFORE HER in the subject line before 6:00pm on Thursday, November 15th. Please only one entry per household. For additional chances to win, simply like the contest announcement on our Facebook page and/or re-Tweet the announcement on Twitter!