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The extraordinary story of a young Pakistani woman who lived to tell of her narrow escape from an attempted "honor" killing by her father and uncle. Told through the lens of a true love story, the film tells the story of Saba who was shot and left for dead after marrying a man once promised to her. The result is a scathing examination of the contradictions between modernism and tradition within Pakistani society. Written by
At the end of her acceptance speech, during the exit music, director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy announced that after viewing this film, the Prime Minister of Pakistan will change the law on honor killing. See more »
"A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" is quite simply the best Documentary Short I have ever seen!
If you like true stories told very well, but briefly, and you'd like to get a leg up in an Oscar pool, then this review is for you! In my continuing effort to see as many Oscar nominees as possible, I took advantage of the opportunity to see the shorts.TV theatrical presentation "Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Documentary" (NR, 3:00 with 10 min. intermission). Here's a brief, spoiler-free summary and evaluation of one of those five films...
"A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness" (40 min.) Saba was an 18-year-old Pakistani girl who fell in love with and married a young man of whom her family did not approve. For this "crime", her father and uncle kidnapped her from the home of her new husband's family, drove her to a riverbank, shot her in the head, placed her in a sack and threw her in the river. Saba was one of over 1,000 women targeted for "honor killings" every year in Pakistan, but unlike most of those nameless victims, Saba survived. We see her in the hospital being treated for her wounds, then we follow her as she returns to live with her husband and his family and is pressured to drop the charges against her uncle and father and publicly "forgive" them. All the key players in this real-life drama give interviews in which they tell us about their roles in this story and openly discuss their points of view. We even get to sit in on a meeting between local tribal elders and Saba's lawyer, trying to find a resolution to the case. With remarkable access, a flare for story-telling and the ability to present all points of view without judgment, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy has directed an important and outstanding film which rises above the label of "documentary short" and demands to be seen by everyone who cares about our common humanity. "A+"
The other four films in the shorts.TV theatrical presentation "Oscar Nominated Short Films 2016: Documentary" are "Body Team 12" "Chau, beyond the Lines" "Claude Lanzmann: Spectres of the Shoah" "Last Day of Freedom"
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