Parents' Guide to


By Barbara Shulgasser-Parker, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 10+

Heartfelt docu showcases tech competition for teen girls.

Movie NR 2015 107 minutes
CodeGirl Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this movie.

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The film nicely captures the rare opportunity the Technovation competition offers to thousands of girls. Many of these girls might not otherwise learn to write code or think about starting businesses and solving major world problems. The contrast between the self-acknowledged overprivileged girls of the American teams and those from Third World countries is showcased. Members of the Moldova team fetch their water from a well and address widespread water contamination in their app. One team of American finalists creates an app that allows schoolmates to say nice things about each other. The movie is clearly a labor of love, as the director's admiration for the girls shines through in every shot. But this may also be at the root of the documentary's greatest weakness: At 107 minutes it's easily twice as long as it needs to be. At the halfway mark even sympathetic viewers may question the need for close observation of yet one more team. One team member articulates this problem perfectly on camera as the filmmaker unnecessary records her team when nothing is happening. "This is the least interesting footage ever," the girl correctly declares of one of many scenes that belong on the cutting-room floor.

Still, CodeGirl is a great movie for parents to share with tweens and teens, especially girls, since it may inspire them to better their own communities and update their tech skills.

Movie Details

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