Rida: My Story About Women & Personal Freedoms

(MY: 24-The Day My Life Changed Forever!). 12 min. Dist. by Film Ideas, Inc. 2015. $39.95 (PPR). ISBN 9781605729473.
Gr 8 Up—This series features diverse teenagers sharing short, snappy stories, each describing a personal decision that changed the direction of their lives. Rida, born in Pakistan but living in Australia since age 11, discusses the dilemma of attending school in a Western society while constrained by traditional cultural values. At school, her opinions were valued, while at home, she notes, "When my brother expressed views, it was perceived as being intelligent. When I expressed views, it was perceived as being disobedient." As she narrates, Rida sketches white board drawings that capture her feelings even better than words; here she sketches herself in a birdcage. At age 16, when told she was being sent back to Pakistan, she refused, and after verbal and physical abuse, she called the police. Chastised for bringing dishonor to the family, she packed her school bag and left home, scared and unprepared. In the end, we see Rida hosting a radio show, studying art education with the help of seven scholarships and visiting her family in Pakistan after 18 months on her own. Unfortunately, the film gives short shrift to the difficulties she must have faced after leaving home.
VERDICT The audience will be engaged by Rida's specific cultural drama but will also recognize the universal nature of teenagers who seek their identities by rejecting their parents' values.

Be the first reader to comment.

Comment Policy:
  • Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  • Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media.
  • If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.



We are currently offering this content for free. Sign up now to activate your personal profile, where you can save articles for future viewing