Skater Girl Parent Guide
This film really pulls a hardflip with its abundant positive messages, which glide effortlessly through an appealing story.
Parent Movie Review
Prerna (Rachel Saanchita Gupta) knows she’s trapped: trapped by poverty, trapped by her low caste, trapped by her family’s expectations. Because her parents can’t afford a school uniform or textbooks, she is unable to go to school. So she drops her brother (Shafin Patel) off at school, does housework, and helps with the family’s market stall, glumly awaiting the day her parents arrange a marriage.
For Jessica (Amy Maghera), Prerna’s village is not a prison but a source of understanding. Trying to learn more about her late father, she has travelled from her home in London to the northern Indian state of Rajasthan. Drawn to the children in Khempur, she marvels at their ingenuity, kindness, and enthusiasm. And when her friend, Erick (Jonathan Readwin), drops into town, she witnesses the children’s fascination with his skateboard. Impulsively, Jessica buys a bunch of skateboards, and watches the kids take off, filled with excitement and newfound confidence.
Initially hesitant, Prerna takes to skating. “There’s no one to control me,” she says, “no rules to follow. It feels like I’m gliding in the sky.” But Prerna still has to fight against fear, face the potential of injuries, and appease her traditional parents. And centuries of tradition can’t be overthrown in a few weeks…
Skater Girl is a distinctive sports film but not for its narrative line, which is pretty predictable. To be honest, most sports films follow similar beats and deliver the same emotional rush at the end. What makes Skater Girl stand out is its unique setting. I’ve never seen a sports film set in India before, let alone one starring a girl who loves to skateboard. This allows the production to do more than just tell a sports story; it introduces real world issues like female education, child marriage, and caste segregation. While most kids won’t want to sit through a documentary on any of those topics, this movie manages the difficult feat of providing exciting edutainment – teaching viewers while telling an interesting story that will appeal to older kids, teens and adults. It’s basically the cinematic equivalent of sneaking zucchini into chocolate cake.
Best of all, this film comes with very little to worry parents. There’s some plot related peril and some minor violence (although since it’s in a domestic setting it’s more disturbing). There are also a few places where the consequences of characters’ choices seem to magically disappear, but that’s not exactly new in the world of movie make-believe.
Where Skater Girl really pulls a hardflip is with its abundant positive messages. Jessica immerses herself in the lives of Khempur’s children, changing their lives for the better and portraying the benefits of selfless community service. Prerna’s narrative shows the power of determination, persistence, and plain hard work. Whether or not nightmare flips sound like your idea of fun, this girl power message is easy to love.Directed by Manjari Makijany. Starring Amy Maghera, Waheeda Rehman, Rachel Saanchita Gupta. Running time: 107 minutes. Theatrical release June 11, 2021. Updated October 2, 2021
Watch the trailer for Skater Girl
Rating & Content Info
Why is Skater Girl rated PG? Skater Girl is rated PG by the MPAA for thematic material
Violence: An angry man bangs his plate on the floor. A boy steals an item of clothing for his sister. Two boys wrestle in a mud puddle. A man slaps a girl’s face. There’s mention of a man dying in a burning building. A child is seen with a bruise from a sports injury. A man shoves his wife and daughter. A person sets a skateboard on fire.
Sexual Content: A girl refers to her menstrual period as “stomach cramps”. A woman mentions gynecological problems related to childbirth. A man makes insulting comments about a woman living with a man to whom she is not married.
Profanity: There is a term of deity.
Alcohol / Drug Use: None noted.
Page last updated October 2, 2021
Skater Girl Parents' Guide
Skater Girl isn’t based on a true story but it was inspired by Indian skateboarders. In addition, the movie also spawned a local skateboard culture in Rajasthan, thanks to the skate park built for the movie. For more information, follow this link:
Prerna misses school because her family is poor and she’s not alone. Education for girls is a critical issue in international development. Throughout the developing world, girls face challenges in accessing education, even where they are entitled to it by law. What are some of these issues? What can you do to help girls get the education they need?
Malala Fund: Girls’ education
The Guardian: Educating girls: the key to tackling global poverty
The Borgen Project: 10 Key Aspects of Girls’ Education in Developing Nations
Prerna is appalled when her parents arrange a marriage for her. Child marriage continues to be a serious problem in developing countries but also exists in first world countries. What is the law in your country concerning child marriage?
Girls Not Brides: About child marriage
Girls Not Brides: Child marriage atlas
Human Rights Watch: Ending Child Marriage in Africa
The Washington Post: Why can 12-year-olds still get married in the United States?
Unchained at Last: Child Marriage in the United States
Caste is an issue that keeps popping up throughout the film. It is officially illegal to discriminate on the basis of caste in India, but social mores have been slow to change. Does your culture have traditions that discriminate against groups of people? Why do you think those patterns of behavior persist? Are those attitudes changing?
The Economist: Even as India urbanises, caste discrimination remains rife
Related home video titles:
Born to a Punjabi family in London, Jessminder struggles to please her parents while being true to herself. In Bend it Like Beckham, Jess wants to play soccer but her parents want her to get married.
Inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s lyrics, English-born Javed wants to become a writer but his traditional Pakistani father wants him to choose a more secure career. Father and son battle it out in Blinded by the Light.
Malala Yousafzai gained global acclaim by advocating for girls’ education. After she was shot by the Taliban, her efforts redoubled. Her story is told in the documentary He Named Me Malala.