Recently, I had the privilege of creating a study guide to accompany the new documentary, Going on 13, which follows four girls from ages 9 – 13. I loved this film because it showed REAL GIRLS. I could watch the film again and again (and I did!) because the girls in it became very dear to me. They reminded me of girls I know: of my younger sister, my cousins, and the many amazing girls I’ve had the opportunity to work with through New Moon. It was so refreshing to see girls who spoke for themselves onscreen; it made me realize anew just how incredibly limited a portrayal the media usually gives girls.
See this film if you can. Even better, see it with other adults who care about or work with girls, or bring the girls you care about to it. The film can be a springboard to discuss many important topics, such as growing up, mental health, sex education, immigration, and more. There is one instance of ‘the f word’ and some mature subject matter, such as sex education and mental illness, but I find the film appropriate for girls ages 9 and up if they view it with an adult who can help them contextualize and process what they see.
The next screenings are:
1) LA Latino Film Festival Sept 13
2) SF Documentary Film Festival some time in Oct 17-30
3) South Asian Film Festival (NYC) Nov?
4) Leeds (UK) Youth Film Festival April 2009
And here’s the trailer: