Salma

When Salma, a young Muslim girl in a south Indian village, was 13 years old, her family locked her up for 25 years, forbidding her to study and forcing her into marriage. During that time, words were Salma’s salvation. She began covertly composing poems on scraps of paper and, through an intricate system, was able to sneak them out of the house, eventually getting them into the hands of a publisher. Against the odds, Salma became the most famous Tamil poet: the first step to discovering her own freedom and challenging the traditions and code of conduct in her village. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance]

Pink Saris

Sampat Pal Devi, founder of India’s Gulabi (“Pink”) Gang and fearless defender of the rights of untouchable women, challenges husbands, fathers-in-law and policemen in this immersive study by acclaimed documentarian Kim Longinotto. More than a profile of an everyday heroine, the film captures the courage and sacrifice necessary for social progress.

Dreamcatcher

Brenda is on a mission to disrupt the cycle of neglect, violence, and exploitation endured by girls and women in inner-city Chicago. On any given day, she’s performing interventions with at-risk teenagers, female prisoners, and prostitutes on street corners. She uses unconditional love, non-judgmental support, practical help—whatever it takes for them to change their own lives. But the most powerful weapon in Brenda’s healing arsenal is the raw honesty she can offer because she’s been where they are. For 25 years, she survived as a drug-addicted prostitute, even recruiting innocents into the “lifestyle” and abandoning her own children. [Synopsis courtesy of Sundance Film Festival]