Every year in Pakistan, many people – the majority of them women – are known to be victimized by brutal acid attacks, while numerous other cases go unreported. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred. Many reported assailants, often a husband or someone else known by the victim, receive minimal if any punishment from the state.
Recently honored with a Best Documentary Short Oscar®, SAVING FACE chronicles the lives of acid-attack survivors Zakia and Rukhsana as they attempt to bring their assailants to justice and move on with their lives. The women are supported by NGOs, sympathetic policymakers, and skilled doctors, such as Islamic Help, plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad, who returns to his home country to assist them, attorney Ms. Sarkar Abbass who fights Zakia’s case, and female politician Marvi Memon who advocates for new legislation. Directed by Oscar® winning and Emmy®-nominated American filmmaker Daniel Junge and Oscar® and Emmy®-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, SAVING FACE is an intimate look inside Pakistani society, illuminating each woman’s personal journey while showing how reformers are tackling this horrific problem.
SAVING FACE will broadcast internationally in 2012, beginning with HBO in North America on March 8.
The filmmakers would like to express our deep gratitude to Zakia and Rukhsana for bravely telling their stories on film, to our NGO partners Acid Survivors Trust International and Islamic Help, and to the countless other men and women dedicating their time and expertise to the campaign to eradicate acid violence.