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It's a Girl! (2012)

Not Rated | | Documentary | 15 September 2012 (USA)
Every year in India and China, millions of babies are killed, neglected or abandoned simply because they are girls.


Evan Grae Davis

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In India, China and many other parts of the world today, girls are killed, aborted and abandoned simply because they are girls. The United Nations estimates as many as 200 million girls are missing in the world today because of this so-called "gendercide." Girls who survive infancy are often subject to neglect, and many grow up to face extreme violence and even death at the hands of their own husbands or other family members. The war against girls is rooted in centuries-old tradition and sustained by deeply ingrained cultural dynamics which, in combination with government policies, accelerate the elimination of girls. Shot on location in India and China, It's a Girl reveals the issue. It asks why this is happening, and why so little is being done to save girls and women. The film tells the stories of abandoned and trafficked girls, of women who suffer extreme dowry-related violence, of brave mothers fighting to save their daughters' lives, and of other mothers who would kill for a son... Written by Evan Grae Davis

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Release Date:

15 September 2012 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

India See more »

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Shadowline Films See more »
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You should see this one...
7 June 2015 | by MartinHaferSee all my reviews

This documentary came out a few years ago, and generally I try to review movies around the time they debut. However, this is such an important and compelling film that I really think it's important that you see it if you get a chance and I feel it's important that I write about It's a Girl!.

The film is about a horrible problem in both India and China today-- the prevailing feeling that girls are a burden. However, why this is and how all this plays out is a bit different.

In India, babies are routinely killed by their families. We are not talking about a few hundred children, but millions. I was shocked at the start of the film as a woman admitted to killing all 8 of her babies because they were girls. The most shocking part about this is that she said all this with a smile on her face! Why?! Why would she and so many other mothers do this? Apparently, in this land, a family is traditionally considered blessed when they have a son, yet when they have a girl it is just a burden--another mouth to feed AND a girl who will need a huge dowry in the future to basically pay a man to take her. As a result of these attitudes, there also has been a proliferation of doctors who perform illegal ultrasounds--and if the fetus is a girl, it's aborted. A third common alternative is to just abandon the child to the streets--and orphanages are filled to bursting with girls!

The problem in China is a bit different. While the killing of children because of gender ('gendercide') is illegal in India (though practically never prosecuted), in China abortions are a governmental policy. While there are also social and cultural pressures to have boys just as in India, most families are only allowed one child--so they are ultra-careful and choose to keep fetuses that are boys. And, if it's a girl, it could mean that if they have the child, they won't be able to have a boy! So, children are also murdered or abandoned.

Both portions of the film are filled with horribly sad stories, such as women being murdered because they gave birth to girls, mothers going into hiding to prevent folks from killing their daughters as well as a group of women talking about and demonstrating how they murder their baby girls. All of this is emotionally draining to watch--and it's important you have some Kleenex handy and perhaps see it with someone.

As to the quality of the film, it's very well made and instead of preaching at the audience, it allows Indian and Chinese people to talk about their experiences. This is a great choice, as it makes the stories much more compelling and it comes off less as outsiders trying to tell these people how to act but instead shows folks within their cultures pushing for changes in attitudes and laws. My only complaint, and it's a very minor one, is that the narration sounds as if they show is geared more towards a younger audience-- but despite this, it still doesn't pull its punches and is a terrific film. Like many of the best documentaries, this one pushes for change and also makes an emotional connection with the viewer. I know that for me and my daughter, we often cried as we watched this touching movie.

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