The World Before Her
Moving between two extremes—the intimate verité drama of the Miss India pageant’s rigorous beauty “boot camp” and the intense regime of a militant Hindu fundamentalist camp for young girls—”The World Before Her” delivers a provocative portrait of India and its current cultural conflicts during a key transitional era in the country’s modern history.
“The World Before Her” shows the intersection of the modern world and the culture of the past, as they clash in India. Young women who want to be educated and self sufficient are hand-picked to compete for the title of Miss India in a pageant. These women exude confidence and have a large support system, but they also face dangers in their quest for success. While the film documents the pageant life, it also tells the story of the young Indian girls who attend military boot camp. Through intense training, they learn how to shoot guns to protect themselves and others from anyone they believe would infringe upon their Hindu faith and traditions.This enlightening documentary shows how violent one group of women are willing to become, as they fight against anyone who defies tradition, and how the other group of women are often beaten for their desire to modernize. We award this documentary the Dove Family Approved Seal for 12-plus, due to the nature of the intense topic.