Girl Rising examines education problem

  Apr 23, 2013 OTTAWA — Amina is an 11-year-old girl from Afghanistan who was married off to an older cousin: essentially, sold by her family for $5,000. They used the money to buy a car for their son. Yasmin is a 12-year-old Egyptian girl who was raped by a stranger. When her mother took her to the police station, the most the authorities could do was to offer to get her some money from the man. Wadley is a seven-year-old Haitian girl with a wide smile who loves school. After the 2010 earthquake, the school closed, but she wouldn’t give up on trying to attend the new school, even though her mother couldn’t pay for it. These are three of the nine children from nine countries whose stories are told in Girl Rising, an unusual documentary that looks at the problem of educating girls in the developing world. Director Richard Robbins paired each girl with a woman author from her country, who wrote a version of her story. Each was then re-created as a short film, and narrated by an actress — the voice cast includes Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Cate Blanchett and Alicia Keys.