A woman in Pakistan sentenced to death for falling in love becomes a rare survivor of the country's harsh judicial system.A woman in Pakistan sentenced to death for falling in love becomes a rare survivor of the country's harsh judicial system.A woman in Pakistan sentenced to death for falling in love becomes a rare survivor of the country's harsh judicial system.
Couple of comments: this is another documentary by acclaimed director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. She previously won an Oscar for Best Short Documentary for 2012's "Saving Face", a feat she would eventually repeat with this film. She is known for her activism to showcase the inequality of women in Pakistani society. Here she tackles a particular egregious topic: the so-called 'honor-killings' (of which more than 1,000 take place each year, we are reminded at the beginning of the movie). We get to know Saba, as well as her immediate family and the family of her husband, all of which speak on record and fully convinced that their personal opinion is the one and only correct (if not righteous) one. The suffocating "mores" of Pakistani society (never mind what the law actually says) is hard for anyone in the US to fully grasp and understand. But it makes for a jaw-dropping viewing experience. If I have one criticism of this documentary, it is that there is so much material to cover, that the documentary frankly feels rushed at a running time of just 40 min. I don't think it would've been all that hard to stretch this out to a feature-length documentary.
I recently stumbled onto this film while browsing the documentary section of HBO on Demand. So glad I found this. No, this does not make for "fun" viewing but it is all the more ESSENTIAL viewing. last and certainly not least, major kudos to Saba for her bravery to speak out. "A Girl in the River" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- Oct 27, 2017