Monday, 2 April 2012
Saving Face ★★★★★
Receiving its UK premiere at this year’s Human Rights Watch Film Festival, Sharmeen Obaid-Chonoy and Daniel Junge’s documentary Saving Face has attracted worldwide attention after winning the Oscar for Best Documentary (Short Subject) at this year’s Academy Awards. Lifting the veil on the relatively undocumented plight of hundreds of Pakistani women who have been deliberately disfigured by acid attacks, Saving Face is a powerfully revealing film that not only gives a platform for its victims, but has also been the driving force behind new laws implemented to prevent these repugnant premeditated attacks in Pakistan.
Saving Face came about when co-director Daniel Junge was inspired by an interview he had with Mohammed Jawad, a British plastic surgeon of Pakistani descent who was thrust into the limelight after restoring model Katie Piper’s face after an acid attack in London. Jawad had decided to use his skill set to return to Pakistan and attempt to help some of the many women affected by similar malicious attacks with free reconstructive surgery. During their journey the film’s directors managed to interview a collection of incredibly brave women who have been victimised – each one with their own tale of woe but with an overriding sense of optimism that only amplifies their strength of character.