Arts & Culture, Features, Uncategorized

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s “A Girl in the River: the Price of Forgiveness” Earns an Oscar Nod

By Lindsay Cooper Love and loss are said to go hand in hand. Nobody knows this better than the women who are murdered in the name of honour in Pakistan every year, the number estimated to be around a thousand each year. Known within Pakistan as karo-kari, honour killings are the executions (almost exclusively of young women) committed by the victim’s family in order to restore their standing in the community. Families resort to this after their reputations have been damaged by their child, usually by rejecting an arranged marriage, engaging in premarital sex, or simply appearing to be romantically or sexually interested in someone. Falling in love with, or even receiving affection from the wrong person can cause a Pakistani girl to lose everything. One such girl is the subject of Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy’s “A Girl in the River: the Price of Forgiveness”.  The short documentary film follows the story of an 18-year-old Pakistani girl who had to pay a price for falling in love. While many girls pay the ultimate price, losing their lives in inhumane executions, Obaid Chinoy’s film follows the story of a young girl who avoids paying with her life by surviving an attempted honour killing. “A Girl in the River” is a collaboration between Obaid Chinoy and HBO, with the film’s official premier having been hosted on the network this past October. Since the debut, the film has garnered attention from critics and viewers alike, making  it no surprise when the film was nominated for an Oscar in the category Best Documentary – Short Subject. While the film is up against some tough competition this year, Obaid Chinoy’s history at the Oscars leaves fans optimistic. In 2012 Obaid Chinoy’s “Saving Face”, a short documentary film following the victims of acid attacks, earned her an Academy Award, making Obaid Chinoy the first Pakistani to ever win an Oscar, and only the eleventh female director to have won the award for a non-fiction project. With the attention the short has received since the first whisperings of an Oscar nomination, Obaid Chinoy is putting pressure on Human Rights Groups, in hopes that Pakistan will no longer see such losses in the name of honour. Image Credit: Sharmeen Obaid Films

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