Documentary Review: ‘Stolen Daughters’

A moving, sensitive and inspirational piece that shows the significance of bravery, documentary ‘Stolen daughters’ throws light on one sad incident of Nigeria. Depicting the release of 82 school girls from the clutches of Jihadi group Boko Haram, the documentary presents their life back home. After returning home, it shows their troubles to adjust back to society for a year now. Abducted away from their family and forced to be under captivity, the school girls from Chibok suffer loads of trauma. But this trauma is to be forgotten as soon as possible is the underlying message of their secret school authorities who are keeping them separated away from the usual world.

As an attempt to provide them safety, comfort, courage and determination, the girls are taken to a secret government house. With special access to this safe house, the documentary makers work hard to bring their story forward all around the globe. It portrays the efforts of teachers, care takers, counsellors and school authorities who are taking every possible action for a comfortable return to normal routine. Realizing the role of education, these girls are motivated to pursue their aim and forget about the past.

It delivers a positive message to forget about the past and continue working hard for the future. Though it is impossible to erase the scars of trauma and trouble, the girls are encouraged to make the best of their freedom. And while freedom from captivity is just one battle worn, the story shows the reality of a bad past. There is still lot to be done as several young women are missing till date, but the documentary shows light and hope for the few who survived.

The Nigerian government continues their efforts to provide safety and realize that nothing is achieved so far. Keeping the released students away from the usual environment is one of their hopes to ensure comfortable transition. Overwhelmed by the trauma, it can be difficult to adjust back into society. Incidences like these cannot be forgotten, but unless one forces them to look forward to the future, the transition can be extremely difficult.

Written and produced by Karen Edwards, the documentary presents the reality of a difficult situation in one part of the world. Director Gemma Atwal has presented the tale in a simple manner, leaving a lot to the thoughts of the viewer. While the documentary lens have strived to present the story, it is not easy to balance the thin line between ‘presenting a tale’ and ‘allowing privacy to the troubled girls’.

Watch this inspiring tale of hope and courage. ‘Stolen daughters’ is a reminder that past needs to be forgotten to stay in the present and make the most with aspects of education, understanding and trust.

Debuts on HBO Monday, October 22nd.

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