She Rises Up

She Rises Up

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The latest film of Maureen Castle Tusty, a documentary filmmaker, called ‘She Rises Up,’ is an account of the world economy and three women who are trying to find their place in it. The movie concentrates on Magatte from Senegal, Gladys from Peru and Selyna from Sri Lanka. This enables these women to discuss how female economic oppression is related to financial instability in their communities. Their respective entrepreneurial efforts are all about enabling women to access work opportunities as they seek to empower their countries.

A slide in the film’s introduction dictates that if women contributed to the international economy to the same degree as men, they would have an equal global impact as the economies of the United States and China. As such, it takes this opening statement and moves on with it by highlighting each woman while at the same time discussing her various entry barriers.

Selyna focuses on textiles industry and fabrics exportation but she acts more like a business director than a true subject. Alternatively, Nirmala and Madhusha mother and daughter love hating on no sexual health education that affects their financial lives. “Period poverty” thus becomes problematic because accessibility of products is challenged by shame which inhibits them from advocating for themselves; thus several end up without any monthly financial burden for feminine care. She Rises Up Consequently, they began producing reusable pads using Lankan textiles thereby benefitting both its women folk financially.

Gladys in Peru owns two convenience stores which she also employs her family members thus empowering them economically at almost no cost while herself being free to pursue other activities. They noted that she grew up in a home where her father was usually absent therefore wanting an independent future for herself so as set an example for her daughter too . Finally , Magatte from Senegal looked on helplessly as big brand sodas displaced independent local hibiscus drinks out of business mainly sold by women only at local markets. In order not only to keep market women in employment but also preserve the culture via their local drinks, she created a bottling company and initiated its marketing. However, as her business partners moved to outsource the drink’s production to China ,she had no option but to pivot.

However, ‘She Rises Up’ does this with very little engagement even though it makes an effort to hold each of the cultures on display when these women elaborate upon their strategies and differing hurdles. While we understand that these women are passionate about making changes, we get a clear picture of how institutional stonewalling not only keeps them but also keeps our country behind. It is painfully direct as far as its format is concerned because it shows motivations and personal stories before presenting the various institutional resistances to the government. This is where humanity is missing.

The movie feels as if one was giving a presentation within a school setting because it comes across much like ideas being thrown together in one slide show with way too much sugar coating such that it becomes obvious without really sinking in at all.

The lack of finesse is however a hindrance to its ability to effectively pass on information. It is scantily edited, with long shots of talking heads as the women chat around their points in circles. The structure is mixed bag, jumping between Peru, Senegal and Sri Lanka that feels more like hopscotch than smoothly transitioning.

Magatte’s declaration and call for action is what lingers most: “To have a heart for the poor is easy; to have a mind for the poor is the challenge.” Almost one third of countries globally has laws barring women from employment with most of them being the poorest nations in existence. This notion takes on new significance through shopping locally and pulling at your emotions just before the credits start rolling but there are many details that simply fail to hit you and so “She Rises Up” becomes forgettable quickly.

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