Film: Saving Life
Directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Daniel Junge
Produced by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy,Daniel Junge, Davis Coombe, Alison Greenberg, Sabiha Sumar
Starring Dr Mohammad Jawad
Music by Gunnard Doboze
Editing by Milkhaus
Distributed by HBO
Release date: March 8, 2012
Saving Face is a 2011 documentary film about acid attacks on women. The film has been awarded the 2012 Academy Award for best Documentary (Short Subject), by director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy.
The film follows London based Pakistani plastic surgeon, Dr. Mohammad Jawad, as he journeys to Pakistan to perform reconstructive surgery on survivors of acid violence. Saving Face also broaches the subject of the under reporting of acid violence against women due to cultural and structural inequalities towards women from Pakistani Muslim men. The film also features two women attacked by acid and their struggle for justice and healing. The Acid Survivors Foundation of Pakistan, which is featured in the film, had documented over 100 acid attacks a year in Pakistan but estimates far more due to lack of reporting.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy chose the subject of acid violence after being contacted by Junge, who had already filmed portions of the documentary prior to their discussion. Obaid-Chinoy commented to the Wall Street Journal that “The subject matter immediately appealed to me: Acid violence impacts women in southern Punjab and changes the lives of hundreds of women each year.” The documenters initially had some difficulty contacting and gaining the trust of the survivors in the film as well as connecting with the local community, but stated that “once we had spent a considerable amount of time on the ground and had established relationships, we did not experience any further obstacles.”
Saving Face Wins Oscar:
Saving Face won the 84th Academy Awards for Best Documentary (Short Subject). “The Pakistani filmmaker who is contending for the Oscar for “Saving Face” Horrific Acid Attacks Target Women in Pakistan. Films like “Saving Face” and a new Pakistani law that hands down a minimum mandatory prison terms of 14 years to life for acid attacks are potentially promising turning points.
Saving faces in Pakistan:
There are 150 acid attacks a year in Pakistan when plastic surgeon Mohammad Jawad come to know that he went there to help repair the damage done to the victims. Zakia’s face looks as if half of it has been rubbed out. What’s left is one eye, half a nose and a mouth that can no longer smile. She seldom leaves the house, and when she does she wears an black niqab and sunglasses.
Now a pioneering surgeon in the field, just four years ago Jawad had never seen an acid attack injury, and certainly did not know they happened in Pakistan, the country in which he was born and trained as a doctor. Sitting in his prestigious cosmetic surgery clinic in central London, he tells me about his first case in 2008 at London’s Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Katie Piper, a 23-year-old model, had been disfigured by sulphuric acid thrown by a violent ex-boyfriend.
On Zakia, Jawad was able to use the techniques he had learned through operating on Piper to carry out the first surgery of its kind in Pakistan. he used Matriderm to smooth her ravaged face, gave her a pair of glasses with a painted eye and attached a prosthetic nose, allowing her finally to show her face in public.
The documentary follows Zakia’s attempt to bring the husband who attacked her to justice and the successful fight by the Acid Survivors Foundation to introduce a law to ensure a minimum prison sentence of 14 years for perpetrators of acid attacks.
Many victims are women attacked by their husbands, and others assaulted for turning down a proposal of marriage. One girl in the documentary describes how she was burned after rejecting the advances of her teacher. She was 13 at the time.
Another woman featured in the film is 25-year-old Rukhsana, whose husband threw acid on her and her sister-in-law doused her in gasoline before her mother-in-law lit a match and set her on fire.
The documentary, which is filmed across Islamabad, Rawalpindi and the small towns of Punjab, was released in the US in November. it is due to release in the UK in March 2012, following which it will be released in Pakistan.
Pictures of Saving Life:
Saving Life Trailer:
GD Star Ratingloading…”Saving Life” Oscar Winning Sharmeen Obaid Film, 10.0 out of 10 based on 2 ratings
“Saving Life” Oscar Winning Sharmeen Obaid Film