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October 5–6, 2014

Chicago Premiere

The World Before Her

Film still: The World Before Her Film still: The World Before Her


Best Documentary Feature
Film Fest
Best Canadian Documentary
Hot Docs Film Fest
"Enlightening and enlightened... While much of The World Before Her speaks to global womanhood, other aspects are more specific to India, but that's what gives the film much of its life and spark"
"With extraordinary access, Pahuja illuminates extraordinary conflicts and contradictions facing modern girls"
  —Village Voice

Twenty young women from across India arrive for an intense, month-long beauty boot camp—they are the hand-picked contestants for the Miss India pageant. Winning the coveted title means instant stardom, a lucrative career path and freedom from the constraints of a patriarchal society.

In another corner of India we visit a camp for young girls run by the Durga Vahini—the women's wing of the largest Hindu fundamentalist group in the country. Through physical combat training and mental indoctrination the girls learn what it means to be warriors and good Hindu women.

With unprecedented access, The World Before Her lays bare the complex dreams of its heroines and shows us a country at a key, transitional moment. Called the "most important Indian film of the year" by many Indian critics, The World Before Her highlights several key issues confronting women in todays India.

Directed by Nisha Pahuja, 2012, Canand, 90 min. In English and Hindi with English subtitles.

Join us Sunday, October 5 at 11am for a special reception, screening and Q&A with director Nisha Pahuja ($36) or for the screening ONLY, Monday, October 6 at 7pm ($11).


  • Sun., Oct. 5 at 11:00 am
      (Reception, screening, Q&A)
  • Mon., Oct. 6 at 7:00 pm
      (Screening only)
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Please note: Facets membership privileges for free admission are not eligible for these screening.

In addition, Groupons and any other passes or discounted tickets will not be accepted for this engagement.

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation