This Oscar-Winning Film Could Help End Honor Killings In Pakistan

Louis C.K. tried to bring some respect to the best documentary short Oscar last night: “You cannot make a dime on this [category]. These people will never be rich for as long as they live. … All they do is tell stories that are important.”

But the winning film may do something more important than make money — it could save lives.

The Oscar went to Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy for A Girl In The River: The Price Of Forgiveness in the best documentary short category. (She had won previously, in 2012, for the film Saving Face.)

Her new 40-minute documentary tackles the tough topic of honor killings in Pakistan, from a rare point of view: a survivor’s. Saba, an 18-year-old girl, was shot and thrown in a river by her own family for secretly eloping with her lover — and lived to tell the tale.

The film also examines the interpretations of Islam that allow this brutal practice that claims the lives of more than 1,000 girls and women each year, and the human rights groups lobbying for new laws to protect them.

In her acceptance speech, Obaid-Chinoy said that after Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif watched the film, he said he would change the laws on honor killing.

“This is what happens when determined women get together,” she said. “That is the power of film.”

Read the full story here. 

Image: Courtesy of HBO

Images from Oscars So Very Incredibly Racist: Investigating 88 Years Of Academy Awards For Acting [X]

Graphics Read:

East, South and Southeast Asian Representation in Academy Awards for Acting as of 2016

East, South or Southeast Asian actors have been nominated for Academy Awards for Acting 15 times. A diagram shows that: in 40% of films, the character was not East, Southeast, or South Asian; in 46% of films, the character and actor shared a common heritage or ethnic background; in 13% of films the character was Asian, but not of the same heritage or ethic background as the actor. 

Nine (9) white actors have been nominated for playing East, Southeast or South Asian characters. Three (3) East, Southeast, or South Asian actors have won Academy Awards for acting: Miyoshi Umeki, Ben Kingsley, and Haing S. Ngor. Three (3) white actors have won Academy Awards for playing East or South Asian actors. Zero (0) actors of Korean descent have been nominated for Academy Awards for acting. 

A diagram shows the number of East, South or Southeast Asian actors that have been nominated vs. the number that have won in four Academy categories. Two East, South or Southeast Asian actors have been nominated for Actor in a Lead Role, and one has won. One East, South, or Southeast Asian actor has been nominated for Actress in a Lead Role. Seven East, South, or Southeast Asian actors have been nominated for Actor in a Supporting Role, and one has won. Six East, South, or Southeast Asian actors have been nominated for Actress in a Supporting Role, and one has won. 

Six (6) of the Asian roles nominated for Academy Awards for acting were in war-related movies. Five (5) films with majority-Asian casts have been nominated for Best Picture but not for any acting awards: “The Last Emperor,” “Slumdog Millionaire,” “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon,” “Life of Pi” and “Letters from Iwo Jima.”

Four photos of Asian actors and descriptions of them are shown. Merie Oberon: now considered the first Asian-American actor to earn an Oscar nomination in 1935, Oberon passed as white and didn’t reveal her Indian heritage until a year before her death in 1973. Miyoshi Umeki: in 1957, this Japanese-American actress became the first East or Southeast Asian actor to win an Academy Award. She remains the only East or Southeast Asian woman to win an Oscar for acting. Haing S. Ngor: the only East, Southeast, or South Asian actor to win an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor or for a debut performance. In 1984 for “the Killing Fields.” Ben Kingsley: this British-Indian actor is the only East or South Asian actor to win an Oscar for Lead Actor, in 1982 for “Gandhi.”