VIFF 2012 review: The World Before Her
On the surface, Nisha Pahuja’s fast-moving, thought-provoking documentary is a story about the rise of beauty pageants in India and the Hindu fundamentalists who protest them. She alternates between two women: in the countryside, Prachi runs militaristic boot camps for the fundamentalists as a way to empower herself; in Mumbai, Ruhi struts the catwalks to try to win the Miss India title and her ticket out of poverty. But, ultimately, both are victims of a woefully patriarchal society, whether it’s Prachi suffering her father’s beatings or Ruhi submitting to the almost comical indignities of the so-called progressive, westernized contests.
Granville, September 28 (6:20 p.m.) and 29 (3 p.m.), October 11 (6 p.m.)