Oscar-Winning ‘Saving Face’ Directors’ Battle to End Horror of Acid Attacks
Saving Face follows Pakistani acid attack survivors Zakia and Rukhsana as they attempt to rebuild their lives, and the work of Jawad, a U.K.-based plastic surgeon who returns to his homeland, to reconstruct their faces. The documentary is at times visually arresting and downright jarring in capturing the sheer brutality of acid violence. The film begins in a Pakistani hospital burn ward populated all by women—some missing eyes, their skin burned, and faces flat. Despite the horror, the film ultimately offers hope and redemption, as Zakia and Rukshana slowly move forward with their lives: Zakia’s attacker is given two life sentences in jail, the Pakistani parliament unanimously passes a bill to criminalize acid throwing, and Rukhsana is joyful at giving birth to a baby boy. Obaid-Chinoy, who dedicated her Oscar to Zakia, Rukhsana, Jawad, and the women of Pakistan, recalls one of several stories that didn’t make it into the film, that of Aziz Mai. Mai’s estranged ex-husband threw acid on Mai and her entire family, including her pregnant daughter and her youngest child, who was just 5 years old at the time. “That was particularly gut-wrenching,” she says.
March 8, 2012 9:33 AM