‘Girl in the River’ from Pakistan wins documentary short subject Oscar

‘Girl in the River’ wins

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy with her Oscar for Best Short Documentary for “A Girl in the River” during the telecast of the 88th Academy Awards.

(Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times)

Documentary Short Subject

“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness”

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

“A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness” director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, who won Pakistan’s first Oscar for 2012’s “Saving Face,” collected her second statuette for documentary short.


Her 40-minute film takes on the practice of “honor killings” in her home country with the story of an 18-year-old girl who fell in love and eloped against her family’s wishes. For this “shaming of the family,” her father and uncle pummeled her, shot her in the head, put her in a bag and threw her in a river to die. She somehow survived.

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Obaid-Chinoy has said in interviews that when she questioned the father, he insisted it was his duty to protect his family by doing what he did. According to Amnesty International, more than 1,200 women were slain in honor killings in Pakistan in 2010.

In her speech, Obaid-Chinoy noted that after screening her film, Pakistan’s prime minister, Nawaz Sharif, said he would work to make such killing illegal.


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