Saving Face is a 2012 HBO documentary about acid attacks on women. The film was directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge. The movie has been awarded the 2012 Academy Award for Best Documentary (Short Subject), making its director, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, Pakistan’s first Oscar winner.
The HBO movie 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 men. The movie 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 has also stated that the movie 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”. 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.
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