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Human Rights
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Domestic Violence
Violence Against Women

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Saving Face
US/Pakistan, 2011, 40 minutes, Color, DVD, Urdu, Subtitled
Order No. W131087
Winner of the Academy Award® for Best Documentary (Short Subject), SAVING FACE is a harshly realistic view of violence against women in South Asia - a topic that is seen constantly in the news these days. Every year in Pakistan, many women are known to be victimized by brutal acid attacks, with numerous cases going unreported.

Plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad left his prominent London practice to return to his home country and help the victims of such attacks. Two of these women, Zakia and Rukhsana, are victims of brutal acid attacks by their husbands and in Rukhsana’s case, her in-laws as well. Both attempt to bring their assailants to justice and move on with their lives with the help of NGOs, sympathetic policymakers, politicians, support groups with other acid attack victims and Dr. Jawad. SAVING FACE also depicts a Pakistan that is changing - one where ordinary people can stand up and make a difference and where marginalized communities can seek justice.


Academy Award® Winner for Documentary (Short Subject)
News & Documentary Emmy®, Best Documentary
News & Documentary Emmy®, Outstanding Editing: Documentary and Long Form
International Documentary Association, Best Short Award
Abu Dhabi Film Festival, Audience Choice Award
New York Indian Film Festival, Best Documentary

  • Sheffield Doc/Fest
  • London Human Rights Watch Film Festival
  • Starz Denver Film Fest
  • Indie Spirit Film Festival
  • Women + Film Festival

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    “The ‘victims’ in Saving Face are some of the strongest, most impressive women you will ever come across. She showed us their scars, and we saw their true beauty. … I dare anyone to watch this film and not be moved to tears and inspired into action.”
    Angelina Jolie
    Time Magazine

    "Remarkably, the film has an uplifting emotion… and works on four levels - as a medical drama, courtroom mystery, political thriller, and social tale."
    Robert J. Elisburg
    The Huffington Post

    "An inspiring film on many levels, populated with heroes and courageous…but at the same time, we are left to ponder how much work still needs to be done."
    David Wiegand
    San Francisco Chronicle

    "This film…has the impact of an epic. …it takes a realistic, level-headed view of the people involved, and of the surgical process. It follows the efforts of a woman member of Parliament to introduce a bill establishing life sentences for those guilty of acid attacks, and it passes unanimously."
    Roger Ebert
    Film Critic

    "Obaid Chinoy's film is one part of [the] education and awareness-raising effort that could help ease the suffering of women not just in Pakistan but in other countries where acid attacks happen."
    CBC News

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    Saving Face 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, 2005
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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