Sneak Peek. Young, beautiful, and ambitious, Ankita and Ruhi compete in the Miss India pageant for the chance at a career in the beauty industry, one of the few opportunities for women to find success and empowerment in contemporary India. On the opposite end of the spectrum from Miss India is Durga Vahini, the women’s wing of the Hindu fundamentalist movement. Nisha Pahuja’s The World Before Her dramatizes the tension between traditional and modern perspectives toward women in today’s India through the juxtaposition of these two very different outlets for girls. Initially representing the two threads as mutually exclusive worldviews, Pahuja ultimately draws surprising parallels in the way women are perceived and the opportunities that are afforded them at both extremes, convincingly depicting each as real sources of both oppression and empowerment. The World Before Her is a riveting, thoughtful profile of the fundamental contradictions of a country in transition.
– Tribeca Film Festival