Acid attack victims seek to block 'Saving Face' Pakistan screening


Producer Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and director Daniel Junge attend HBO's documentary screening of the Oscar winning film "Saving Face" at Asia Society on March 5, 2012 in New York City. Victims of acid attacks who were featured in the film want to block it from being shown in Pakistan.


Michael Loccisano

The survivors of acid attacks who were featured in the Oscar-winning documentary "Saving Face" threatened to go to court to block the film from being shown in Pakistan, according to the BBC.

The subjects of the documentary, made by filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, fear a backlash and further acid attacks if the film is shown in their home country.

"Saving Face," which won an Oscar for best documentary in February, follows the work of Mohammad Jawad, a British-Pakistani surgeon, who performed reconstructive surgery on the victims of acid attacks.

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"We had no idea it would be a hit and win an Oscar. It's completely wrong. We never allowed them to show this film in Pakistan," Naila Farhat told Agence France Presse. She was 13 years old when acid was thrown in her face by the man she refused to marry. She lost her eye in the attack, but is 22 years old now and training to be a nurse.

Farhat said, "We may be in more danger and we're scared that, God forbid, we could face the same type of incident again. We do not want to show our faces to the world."

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Naveed Muzaffar Khan, the lawyer representing the women, told the BBC that "there was a consent form but they have not agreed to the film being screened in Pakistan." He said legal notices were sent to Obaid-Chinoy and Daniel Junge.

Khan told The Telegraph, "Pakistan is a conservative society. These women come from rural areas. It will be extremely difficult for them to face their families and friends."

Obaid-Chinoy insisted that the women had signed legal documents allowing the film to be screened everywhere, and she told AFP that she would respond to the legal complaints "when a court orders us."

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