Becoming an Unsuitable Girl by Prachi Gupta

As a result, arranged marriages were a part of my cultural upbringing that I mostly put out of my mind until I saw A Suitable Girl, a documentary that premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival this year. The film—directed, produced and edited by a team of almost exclusively women of color—follows Dipti, Ritu and Amrita, three Indian women in their mid-to-late 20s, for four years as they begin the process of searching for a husband. They are part of a generation forging a new identity that straddles traditional values and modern ones, where women are increasingly likely to pursue work beyond the home. A Suitable Girl successfully demystifies the process of arranged marriages—dispelling the kind of Western “otherizing” and exoticizing I experienced in school—while simultaneously casting a critical eye on how it uniquely affects women. As directors Sarita Khurana and Smriti Mundhra write, “It’s not a film about child brides, female infanticide or slum life, but rather the deep-rooted, systemic and nuanced sexism a woman faces from the day she is born.”

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