Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy made Oscar history late Sunday, as she became the first Pakistani to win the coveted award for her documentary film Saving Face.
Chinoy’s triumph is, rightly, being celebrated with much vigour and the country’s prime minister has announced the highest civilian award for the filmmaker.
The film, which beat competition in the form of documentaries based on Japan’s deadly tsunami and the Iraq war among others, is the story of acid-attack victims punished by men and are then given reconstructive surgery by a British surgeon. Showing the real ‘face’ of the Pakistani society, where men resort to such heinous crimes, the film touched many a heart.
Back at home, a bill was passed against such acts of violence against women, last month. While the bill has been hailed as a great achievement, it remains to be seen how effective it will be in restricting violence against women.
By going on to win an award on the biggest stage of them all, Obaid has taken a brave step towards making it known that such acts are intolerable.
Will this Oscar win and the subsequent attention on the subject, help bring an end to such barbaric acts?
While it is unfortunate that it took such a humiliating subject to bring Pakistan its first Oscar, is Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy’s Oscar win the biggest moment in the history of Pakistan’s arts and entertainment industry?
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