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Pure Michigan


Real to Reel: Girl Unbound: The War To Be Her


Wednesday, November 8 | 7:00 PM
FREE admission


As part of the Holland Big Read community-wide programming, the Saugatuck Center for the Arts presents the acclaimed documentary “Girl Unbound: The War To Be Her”.

In the Taliban controlled area of Waziristan, where sports for women are decried as un-Islamic, and girls rarely leave their houses, young Maria Toorpakai defies the rules by disguising herself as a boy, so she can play sports freely. As she becomes a rising star, however, her true identity is revealed, bringing constant death threats on her and her family.

Screened at the MountainFilm Festival (Telluride), Human Rights Watch Film Festival (London + Toronto), the Cleveland International Film Festival and more, the Hollywood Reporter says “Girl Unbound”, “is quiet but powerful, and packs a few wallops over the course of its long game.”

“Girl Unbound” shares Maria’s story of bravery and hope, while posing questions about what it means to be “free” in your homeland, and what happens when a person is labelled “dangerous” in her/his community.

Click here to watch the trailer for Girl Unbound: The War To Be Her.

Real to Reel Series sponsored by Beau Gratzer & Andy Knight, Saugatuck-Douglas Antique Market. “Girl Unbound” program sponsored by The Big Read Holland Area.

The Big Read Holland Area, a Hope College program, is a month-long community-wide reading program that takes place each year in the Holland area (the SCA is proud to be a partner). It is supported in part by the National Endowment for the Arts “Big Read” program. This year, The Big Read Holland Area has chosen Julie Otsuka’s When the Emperor Was Divine.

When the Emperor Was Divine transports readers to 1942, as it tells the story of Japanese-American internment from five points of view. The book invites readers to consider the troubling moral and civic questions that emerge from this period in American history such as being labelled as “other” or “criminal” in your homeland, coping with loss of home and community, reinventing one’s identity, issues of loyalty to country versus self or family. The documentary Girl Unbound presents many of these same questions in a modern, global setting.

If you like this, click here to explore the Corridor Series: Camp Home by Kevin J. Miyazaki - also brought to you by the Holland Big Read.