Saving Face (2012 film)

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Saving Face
Saving Face (2012 film).jpg
Directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy,
Daniel Junge
Produced by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Daniel Junge
Davis Coombe
Alison Greenberg
Sabiha Sumar
Hina Ali
Starring Dr Mohammad Jawad
Music by Gunnard Doboze
Edited by Milkhaus
Distributed by Women Make Movies, HBO
Release date(s)
  • March 8, 2012 (2012-03-08)
[1]
Country US/Pakistan

Saving Face is a 2012, Academy and Emmy winning, documentary film directed by Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy and Daniel Junge about acid attacks on women in Pakistan. The film won the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject), making its director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Pakistan's first Oscar winner.[2][3]

Synopsis[edit]

The film follows London-based Pakistani plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad[4][5][6] as he journeys to Pakistan to perform reconstructive surgery on survivors of acid violence.[7] 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 men.[8] The film also features two women attacked by acid and their struggle for justice and healing.[9] 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.

Obaid-Chinoy has also stated that the film is "a positive story about Pakistan on two accounts: firstly, it portrays how a Pakistani-British doctor comes to treat them and it also discusses, in great depth, the parliament’s decision to pass a bill on acid violence".[10] Obaid-Chinoy has also said that the film assisted in the trial and conviction of one of the perpetrators of acid violence on a female victim. [11]

Production[edit]

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."[11] 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."[12]

Controversy[edit]

Obaid Chinoy has faced criticism over allegations that she promised acid victim Rukhsana assistance in the form of money, a new home, and plastic surgery in return for participating in the film. Rukhsana filed a lawsuit against Obaid Chinoy stated that the director made her sign blank documents and that the film resulted in her husband evicting her from her home and her family ceasing communication with her.[13] Obaid Chinoy refuted the claims, replying that she did not promise Rukhsana any assistance and that Rukhsana had turned down offers to have Jawad operate upon her.[14] The Acid Survivors Foundation and Rukhsana filed a civil suit to keep Saving Face from being shown in Pakistan, to which Obaid Chinoy agreed to honor despite having airing rights, due to fears of acts of violence against acid victims.[15]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award-giving body Award Result
2012 Academy Award Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject) Won
Emmy Award Best Documentary Won
Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form Won
Outstanding Science and Technology Programming Nominated
Outstanding Cinematography Documentary and Long Form Nominated
Outstanding Research Nominated


See also[edit]

  • Fakhra Younus, acid attack victim who committed suicide shortly after the film won its award.

References[edit]

External links[edit]