Directed by Academy and Emmy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness received a prestigious Academy Award in the category: Best Documentary (Short) at the 88th Annual Academy Awards®.
|Shoot Location||Filmed entirely in Pakistan|
|Duration of the Documentary||39 minutes and 22 seconds|
|Edited by||Geof Bartz A.C.E|
|Music by||WENDY BLACKSTONE and GUNNARD DOBOZE|
|Co-Produced by||HAYA FATIMA IQBAL|
|Camera by||ASAD FARUQI, NADIR SIDDIQUI, KHURRAM VICTOR, HAIDER ALI, ADRIAN PERMAL, CYRUS VICCAJI and MOHAMMAD KASHIF|
|Senior Producer||LISA HELLER|
|Executive Producer||TINA BROWN and SHEILA NEVINS|
|Produced by||SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY|
|Directed by||SHARMEEN OBAID-CHINOY|
|Sound by||NADIR SIDDIQUI and JASIR ABRO|
Synopsis of the film
The documentary film A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness, directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, follows the story of a rare survivor who falls in love and lives to tell the tale. The young woman who miraculously survived the brutal attack by her father and uncle had the support of a local police officer who helped put them in prison. Initially, she fought the case determined to get the maximum punishment for the two perpetrators. But for weeks the young woman was pressured by the community elders to forgive and forget, to bring peace back to the neighborhood — and to release the sole breadwinner of her large family from prison. In her case she eventually had to forgive her attackers.
Honor Killings & the Law
The law, as it stands, sees honor killing as an offence against the individual and not the State and hence the victim can choose to ‘forgive’ the perpetrator. If the victim is killed, which is often what happens in such cases, the family of the victim has the right to forgive the perpetrator. So when a father kills his daughter, his wife can forgive him and when a brother kills his sister, his parents can forgive him. This is how the current law is being misused.
“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” has helped trigger a national discourse on the issue of honor killing in Pakistan. The film was screened at the house of Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in Islamabad, after which he asked his team to redraft laws on honor killings to help ensure that perpetrators are punished and victims are protected. The proposed amendments to Pakistan’s penal code, which would end impunity for perpetrators of honor killings, are expected to be presented to Parliament by mid-March.