Artists' Television Access

Half the Sky

Monday, March 25, 2013, 7:00 pm, Free

Half the sky C copy.inddWe’re all for Women’s History Month, but female oppression is far from a flicker on society’s rear view mirror. Join San Francisco Bay Guardian culture editor Caitlin Donohue for a discussion about San Francisco’s role in the global women’s movement, following an abridged screening of this documentary, sponsored by Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center, the Guardian, and ATA. The film is based on a book with the same name by journalists Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and roams across 10 countries, employing Hollywood actresses Gabrielle Union, Eva Mendes, and more to bring attention to atrocity. Don’t worry, there will be a positive takeaway. (Trigger warning for physical and sexual violence)

From Irshad Manji’s New York Times review of Half the Sky <http://www.nytimes.com/2009/09/20/books/review/Manji-t.html?_r=0>:
“An ancient Chinese proverb goes that women hold up half the sky. Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn want that to be appreciated — on the ground. In the opening pages of this gripping call to conscience, the husband-and-wife team come out swinging: “Gendercide,” the daily slaughter of girls in the developing world, steals more lives in any given decade “than all the genocides of the 20th century.” No wonder Kristof and WuDunn, whose coverage of China for The New York Times won them a Pulitzer Prize, declare the global struggle for women’s equality “the paramount moral challenge” of our era.
Their stories in “Half the Sky” bear witness to that bold claim. Kristof and WuDunn describe Dalit women, Indian untouchables, who swarmed, stabbed and emasculated a serial torturer and murderer — in a courtroom. Further north, Mukhtar Mai, the victim of a Pakistani gang-rape, did the unthinkable for a Muslim village woman. Not only did she expose her assailants, but she incurred the wrath of her country’s president, Pervez Musharraf, endured abduction by his henchmen, started a school and even made an ally of her resentful older brother.
“Half the Sky” tackles atrocities and indignities from sex trafficking to maternal mortality, from obstetric fistulas to acid attacks, and absorbing the fusillade of horrors can feel like an assault of its own. But the poignant portraits of survivors humanize the issues, divulging facts that moral outrage might otherwise eclipse.”
Door at 6:30

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