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May 24, 2015

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Pick of the Day: The Boxing Girls of Kabul (DVD)

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Sepia DVD cover of woman with boxing glovesThe Boxing Girls of Kabul. DVD. 52 min. National Film Board of Canada. 2011, 2012 release.  ISBN unavail. $195.
Gr 9 Up–The opening flashback of this documentary showing the cruel treatment of women under the Taliban will grab the attention of audiences in women’s studies and sociology classes. The video shifts to present day and focuses on three women who are trying to change the lifestyle for women in  where their advancement is frowned upon. They are training to be boxers and hope to make it to the Olympic Games. The lack of training facilities, equipment, and funding doesn’t deter their dreams as they work hard under their coach who is also harassed by others. The video was shot in the streets of Afghanistan, giving viewers a true depiction of the danger and fear that these women must face daily while they train in a facility where not long ago women were executed by the Taliban. The young women featured in the film have the support of their father in a society where women are not allowed to go to school, leave home, or participate in sports. They pressure from the Olympic Committee and very little backing. The three women and their coach tell the story, and viewers are taken along to daily training sessions and tournaments. Subtitles are included. An eye-opening documentary.–Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI

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