Meg Ryan talks with young women in Cambodia in PBS’ ‘Half the Sky.’

October 23, 2022 – 01:56 pm

Meg Ryan talks with young women in Cambodia in PBS’ ‘Half the Sky.’Jenni Morello

Each year, somewhere in our modern world, tens of millions of girls and women are abused, battered, raped, sold into sex slavery or killed.

Far more often than not, no one is held responsible or even seems to care.

“Half the Sky” spends four hours exploring and documenting what happens to women, why it shouldn’t, and what some of the good people are doing about it.

Based on years of research by New York Times writers Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn, mostly in Third World countries, the documentary tackles a subject so vast and troubling that the notion of trying to identify and start correcting it may seem well beyond the power of any TV production.

But that’s all the more reason to watch “Half the Sky, ” because the only worse approach is pretending the problem doesn’t exist or will go away on its own.

“Half the Sky” was filmed by George Clooney and employs a half-dozen well-known actresses to add on-camera appeal.

Meg Ryan travels to Cambodia, where rescue workers talk about the number of girls, mostly teenagers and younger, who are sold into sex slavery — often by their families.

Eva Mendes accompanies Kristoff to Sierra Leone, where rape is rarely punished.

“Half the Sky” talks with Fulamatu, a 14-year-old girl who accuses her pastor of rape. Not only is the system indifferent, but her father stops paying for her school and throws her out of the house because she brought shame on the family.

“Half the Sky” works hard to find people, mostly women, who are trying to combat these problems and change cultures.


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