The World Before Her

Watch The World Before Her

  • NR
  • 2012
  • 1 hr 30 min
  • 7.6  (853)
  • 77

The World Before Her is a thought-provoking documentary from director Nisha Pahuja that explores the lives of two very different young women living in India. The film weaves together footage from a beauty pageant training camp and a Hindu fundamentalist boot camp to reveal the complicated and often contradictory forces shaping the lives of modern Indian women.

At the beauty pageant camp, we meet Ruhi, a bubbly and confident contestant who dreams of winning the Miss India title and becoming a Bollywood star. As she undergoes rigorous training in everything from catwalking to diction, we see the intense pressure she faces to conform to society's expectations of feminine beauty and grace. From strict diets and exercise regimes to skin lightening treatments, Ruhi and her fellow contestants are pushed to the brink in the pursuit of their dreams.

Meanwhile, at the fundamentalist camp, we meet Prachi, a devout young woman who aspires to become a militant. She attends classes in self-defense, religious indoctrination, and weapons training, all while wearing traditional Indian clothing and covering her hair. Through interviews with Prachi and her fellow recruits, we get a glimpse into the appeal of this extreme ideology, which promises to protect Indian values from Westernization and secularism.

As the film unfolds, we see Ruhi and Prachi grappling with the expectations placed upon them by their families, their communities, and their country. Both face tremendous obstacles in pursuing their respective paths, whether it's the restrictive gender roles imposed by society or the oppressive forces of religious fundamentalism. And yet, both are determined to follow their own dreams and carve out a place for themselves in the world.

Throughout the film, Pahuja skillfully juxtaposes the glittering world of beauty pageants against the austere world of extremist ideology, highlighting the stark contrast between these two visions of femininity. Yet, at the same time, she shows us the common threads that tie them together – the desire for acceptance, the yearning for empowerment, and the search for a sense of self in a rapidly changing world.

The World Before Her is a powerful and nuanced exploration of the complex forces shaping modern India, and the multiple identities that young women must navigate in order to find their place in it. Through its compelling characters and its stunning visuals, the film invites us to consider the many ways in which gender, religion, and culture intersect in the lives of women around the world. Whether you're a fan of documentaries, social commentary, or simply great storytelling, The World Before Her is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Overall, The World Before Her is an insightful documentary that will prompt viewers to reflect on what it means to be a woman in India today, and on the many challenges and opportunities facing the country as a whole. Through its intimate and illuminating portraits of two young women, the film offers a glimpse into the complexities of modern Indian society, and the urgent need for change and progress in the years to come.

The World Before Her is a 2012 documentary with a runtime of 1 hour and 30 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 7.6 and a MetaScore of 77.

The World Before Her
Where to Watch The World Before Her
The World Before Her is available to watch free on Pluto TV and Tubi TV. It's also available to stream, download and buy on demand at Vudu. Some platforms allow you to rent The World Before Her for a limited time or purchase the movie and download it to your device.
  • Release Date
  • MPAA Rating
  • Runtime
    1 hr 30 min
  • Language
  • IMDB Rating
    7.6  (853)
  • Metascore