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After the Rape
The Mukhtar Mai Story
A film by Catherine Ulmer
Netherlands/Pakistan, 2008, 58 minutes, Color, DVD
Order No. W10990
In 2002, Mukhtar Mai, a rural Pakistani woman from a remote part of the Punjab, was gang-raped by order of her tribal council as punishment for her younger brother’s alleged relationship with a woman from another clan. Instead of committing suicide or living in shame, Mukhtar spoke out, fighting for justice in the Pakistani courts—making world headlines. Further defying custom, she started two schools for girls in her village and a crisis center for abused women. Mukhtar, who had never learned to read but knew the Koran by heart, realized that only a change in mentality could break brutal, archaic traditions and social codes. Her story, included in the bestseller “Half the Sky” by Nicholas D. Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn, and the subject of Mukhtar’s own memoir, “In the Name of Honor”, has inspired women across the globe.

Revealing the progress and fruits of Mukhtar’s labor, this powerful documentary tracks the school’s profound impact on the girls and families of Meerwala and shows how the crisis center empowers women seeking its help. An important look inside Pakistan, where the impact of Islamic fundamentalism is revealed and how women are fighting its oppressive and violent impact.


  • International Documentary Film Festival, Amsterdam (IDFA)
  • San Sebastian Human Rights Film Festival
  • Starz Denver International Film Festival
  • Jerusalem Film Festival
  • Squardi Altrove
  • Belgrade Documentary and Short Film Festival
  • VII Festival de Cine y Derechos Humanos
  • Calgary Int'l Film Festival

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    “This film is beautiful,…the heart of the film – the school and its students – takes an inspiring look forward, rather than backwards, that is the spirit of Mukhtaran Mai herself.”
    Asifa Quraishi
    Asst. Professor, University of Wisconsin Law School

    “From the tragedy Mukhtaran Mai had to endure, we see the seeds she has sown in providing education and legal help to those who otherwise would be disenfranchised."
    Anita M. Weiss
    Professor of Int’l Studies, University of Oregon

    “Mukhtaran Mai is an inspiration to all who hope for a better life and expanded educational opportunities for women of the developing world.”
    Gail Minault
    Professor of History, University of Texas, Austin

    "Highly recommended. A must have for programs in women’s studies and Middle Eastern studies as well as for multicultural programs."
    Educational Media Reviews Online

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    After the Rape is included in the following Special Collections.
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WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN: Ending the Silence, BODY IMAGE, and AFRICAN-AMERICAN: Celebrate the Lives of African-American Women.

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us