Sharmeen Obaid’s Second Oscar Win Makes Pakistan Proud

Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy has done it again.

She won the Oscar for her documentary, ‘A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness’ in the Best Short Documentary category. This documentary examines the issue of honor killings, or ‘karo-kari’ as it is known in the local lexicon.

It’s the story of an 18-year-old Pakistani girl who survived a brutal attack by the male members of her family and hopes to wake up the Pakistani lawmakers into drafting a law that protects the female population from a tribal and barbaric custom.

Mrs. Sharmeen hopes that her socially charged investigative film opens the eyes of many of her fellow countrymen who look at honor killing not as a crime, but as a means to evade justice.

Previously, she screened the documentary to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and other lawmakers, hoping to build support for the honor killing legislation in the parliament that outlaws the practice and features stiffer penalties for offenders.

On Her Oscar Win:

“This is what happens when determined women get together. From Saba, the girl in my film who remarkably survived honor killing and shared her story, to Sheila Nevins, Lisa Heller from HBO and Tina Brown who supported me from day one. To the men who champion women, like Geof Bartz who has edited the film to Asad Faruqi, to my friend Ziad who brought this film to the government, to all the brave men out there like my father and husband who push women to go to school and work and who want a more just society for women! Last week, our Pakistani Prime Minister [Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif] has said that he will change the law of honor killing after watching this film. That is the power of film!” – Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy

Concluding Thoughts

It is good to hear of Pakistanis making a mark globally. After having scored an Oscar first in 2012 when she wasn’t a household name and had limited resources, this second win basically solidifies her status as a visionary for women rights.

Her unwavering drive and spirit makes her a great role model for Pakistani girls, and it is hoped that her efforts unite stakeholders in Pakistan be it civil society, government, judiciary and most importantly, the common folk, against the bane of obstructionist and myopic elements that have held us back for far too long.

Image Credits: Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP

Samir is the Editor at ProPakistani. You can reach him at [email protected],pk


  • Eli Ehsan

    Cue the “but she’s not portraying the REAL POSITIVE IMAGE of Purestan” hoopla hoo… :D

    • guest

      There was also a Documentry made on innocent Drone attack victims but no one care huh.

      .

      • Eli Ehsan

        Surprised you didn’t drag “WHY NOT EDHI” in there as well.. :)

        • Rizwan

          Isnt edhi worth making a documentry

          • Eli Ehsan

            There are about a Gazillion Documentaries on EDHI’s legend already. a Simpe Google search will suffice bro….

          • aa

            ghadon documentaries dekhna tou shuru karo Totay kay shaukeen.

    • Zafar Abbas Rizvi

      His next will be on PTCL Speed, confirm hat trick of oscars :)

  • Fakhre Alam

    Out of almost 200 million nation how much acid attacks happen each year? 200 or 2000? I am sorry but thats not even 0.00001% of the total population

    • Ali Mohsin

      yeah, right…!
      If someone puts acid on your sister’s/daughter’s/mom’s face.. that fraction won’t go up much.. right?
      It’s each and every life that counts bro!! we as humans have the nature’s duty to provide for, care for and provide security to each and every of our brothers and sisters…! Any step in achieving that should be welcome..!
      Look what good result that brought, there’s this women’s rights bill passed in Punjab Assembly after her movie got nominated ..!

      • Fakhre Alam

        yes my comment sounds quite wrong but corruption is more bigger problem than these. poor people are forced to suicide because they don’t have anything to eat and feed their family. acid throwing , honor killing are big crimes but eradicate corruption first which in my view is the main cause of these problems. corrupt adalat, corrupt police and corrupt muashra.

      • Rizwan

        This is pure stupidity do u know that after this movie Pakistani passport is ranked 2nd worst passport in the world shame on such documentaries

  • trent

    she made you proud? wt__ ? We should ashamed that our barbarism was acknowledged globally. I cant believe we can stoop as low as being proud of our shameless culture / society.

  • Kashif

    Pathetic headline of this article. Should have been “…Made Pakistanis Shameful Again” Highlighting country’s problems on a global scale is noting going to solve them. Would only make us look more miserable. Not to mention that like the previous docu from her, this one is also a foreign funded documentary. Shame on her and shame on the blogger for putting this up.

  • Ishtiaq

    Sharmeen Baji k baad ab next Oscar Pakistan se Almas Bobby ko milay ga and we all will be proud. Just a guess :s.

  • Naz

    Politicians like Nawaz Sharif is involved in crimes against woman. Do u really think he is gonna do anything for woman rights? He is not even democratic elected PM, he comes into power through rigging & also with CIA & RAW funding. Islam already gives solution for this. Woman should wear “burka” (armor of woman) which protects woman from Satan. Actually Nawaz Sharif is also a feudal landlord and he is friends with many feudal lords, so do u really think he is gonna take action against his own buddies? but yeah those brothers, husbands, family members, society should be punished who do crimes against woman, actually those woman who don’t wear burka and themselves involves in evil practices, they should be punished as well.

  • Naz

    Nawaz Sharif should pass the law that every woman have to wear burka when they go outside of their home, make burka compulsory. This law will stop lots of Sexual Harassment takes place. Islam already given the solution 1400 years ago.

  • KMQ

    Wah rey humari masum qaum Wah!!! ek banda humari gandi tasweer khench kar award hasil karta hai aur hum sab us award par proud karte hain… Kabhi khoobsoorat tasweer bhi khench lo bhai…

    Next time she should try and win the award by portraying a positive image of Pakistan and that time I will stand and salute her. But I guess woh wala idea sell nahi hoga theek se because us main masala nahi hoga na…

    • Jaun Raza

      Shakal apki gandi hai to tasveer b gandi he aye gi na, gandi shakal ko tasveer mien acha dekha ker dokha daynai wali baat hai

      • Saleem

        These sick minds will never change. They get offended when someone tells truth but never like to address issue that lead to the truth.

      • Zain Ul-Abadin

        lol laraie na karo yaar ;-)

      • Hassan Nasir

        He is right……….aur misal b aapki kuch justifying nahin hai…agar kaan thorra saa katta ho to sirf kaan pe focus kar k baqi body ko ignore nahi kia ja sakta……

  • mrtomatohead

    I don’t understand why people are criticizing her for making a film about honor killings, its a very real thing that happens in this country and turning a blind eye towards it wont help anyone. The film creates awareness about this topic and hopefully this will lead to government taking measures against honor killings and help those innocent women who are victim to this horrible crime.

    • Usman

      It’s our hobby to run away from reality.

    • Mainichi

      Finally, someone reasonable. Maybe, we’re not doomed after all!

    • rizwan

      We are not saying that its not a problem but is it a problem that was worth more than Pakistan’s Name. I guess u don’t understand after this Oscar what else Pakistanis be categorized as

    • Naz

      Crimes against woman happens all over the world. Pakistan is not the first country neither its the last. Good effort (the documentary) and should be appreciated but keep in mind that OSCARS are rigged as well. Leonardo Dicaprio ko past mein kabhie OSCAR nahin mila ab ja ke 2016 mein OSCAR jeeta The Revenant (2015) par

  • Usman

    On the stupid comments below I don’t find anything negative in documentary. It’s about a girl who stood up for the right. Shows courage of Pakistani women.

    • rizwan

      and how dirty Pakistani nation is. so Pakistani women are good but the nation and country is all fu**ked up

      • Zain Ul-Abadin

        Shukar karo pagal :-( Pakistan bura nahi hai yahan kay log buray hain

  • Pyro

    Making Pakistan Proud by Splashing Mud on 200 Million Faces. Pathetic

  • Guest

    There was also a Documentry made on innocent Drone attack victims but no one care huh.
    she won because she defamed Pakistan.
    .

  • Mainichi

    Proud of her. The first step to solving any problem is admitting that it exists in the first place. The more issues like these are brought to the limelight, the more pressure is put on the rulers to actually do something about it. The comments in this disqus amaze me. I don’t know if people are just plain jealous or are oblivious and only want to hear the good and close their eyes to the bad, hoping that it would somehow go away. It won’t.

    • Herculies

      Making a movie about the negative issues in Pakistan is not going the resolve them. Pakistan is like your home. So would you like people discussing negative issues of your home? pointing out the negativity is not going to solve the problem while everybody knows it exists. Do you really think our politicians will ever think about this issue.These are not going to be resolved anytime soon, make documentary or not. This movie isn’t a big deal. You make anything negative against Islamic country they are going to admire you. Documentaries like this create a negative image and people around the world would hesitate to visit Pakistan, assuming that, living in Pakistan is like living on the edge.

      • Mainichi

        >Making a movie about the negative issues in Pakistan is not going the resolve them.
        Would you rather we keep quiet and sweep the issues under the rug?

        >Pakistan is like your home. So would you like people discussing negative issues of your home?
        If the women in my home are getting butchered like animals then I would definitely like other people to talk so that they can possibly be saved.

        >pointing out the negativity is not going to solve the problem while
        everybody knows it exists. Do you really think our politicians will ever
        think about this issue.These are not going to be resolved anytime soon, make documentary or not.

        With this attitude, it definitely won’t be resolved.

        >You make anything negative against Islamic country they are going to admire you. Documentaries like this create a negative image and people around the world would hesitate to visit Pakistan, assuming that, living in Pakistan is like living on the edge.
        Sab yahoodi sazish he? lol

        This documentary has created awareness and that’s a fact. I would recommend more people to create awareness about the negative issues (even if it ruins our image) because then at least the negative issues can be highlighted and solved. When the negativities disappear, only the positive will remain.

        • Herculies

          Well okay what change you have seen since this documentary made? i would be interested to know if a country or our own government announced something to resolve this issue. Or what you are going to do now.
          For your internal matters you would ask people close to you, like your relatives , friends but not going to Bazaar and started selling your story or shouting there to help you resolve this.
          Not a Yahoodi Sazish, but looking at current situation its clear there is propaganda against Islam. They are pretending to show that root of every problem is Muslim or an Islamic Country. Be ignorant its matter of your choice.

          • Mainichi

            >Well okay what change you have seen since this documentary made? i would be interested to know if a country or our own government announced something to resolve this issue. Or what you are going to do now.
            For one, the Women Protection Bill was signed into law. It might not be perfect but it’s a start.

            >For your internal matters you would ask people close to you, like your relatives , friends but not going to Bazaar and started selling your story or shouting there to help you resolve this.
            Not if your relatives are hell-bent on killing the person in question.

            >Not a Yahoodi Sazish, but looking at current situation its clear there is propaganda against Islam. They are pretending to show that root of every problem is Muslim or an Islamic Country. Be ignorant its matter of your choice.
            So, a yahoodi sazish.

            • Herculies

              WP Bill should have been passed since first day and its basic right, alas there are many basic rights never considered, gradually we are improving ourselves, you can’t simply relate that bill to this documentary.

              Getting an international damage matters even if you think its good for positive change.
              You didn’t get what im saying. People who don’t know us will assume every person behaves like this in Pakistan and every woman living there is facing problems.

              Did i say go to the person who had begun it?
              ..Yahoodi Sazish ? can be anyone who is our enemy, why you are stuck or obsessed with the term Yahoodi?

              • Mainichi

                WP bill was passed because issues covered in that bill were highlighted. Those issues were not swept under the rug. If you live in a country like Saudi Arabia you would either get a fatwa against you or actually prosecuted for highlighting stuff like this. That is one of the reasons why women are still not allowed to drive there (They also couldn’t vote till recently). PS, if you don’t highlight the negativities, someone else does it for you and they paint an even bleaker picture (North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Africa).

                I care more about the women who are getting murdered in cold blood than what “others” think. What’s the right answer?
                >Only paint a rosy picture for the rest of the world to see by hiding all the problems.
                >Fix the problems so that only a rosy picture can be painted.
                I think everyone can agree that we need to disseminate a better image of Pakistan. That’s even more of a reason to fix the problems that are HIGHLIGHTED.

                I know exactly what you are saying. Here’s a simplified version:
                Don’t show the negatives, only show the positives so that a better image can be presented.

                But that won’t be a real image. That would be fake and would go against the very tenets of democracy, freedom, and transparency.

                By yahoodi sazish, I mean this notion that every one is out to get you and that everyone hates Islam. That is exactly what you are saying and it sounds like a nutty conspiracy theory.

                • Naz

                  If this documentary was made by some pious Muslim burka wearing lady, then it would have made some sense but this is made by a harlot woman. Sharmeen is herself involved in crimes against woman.

                  • Mainichi

                    Personal attack? Seriously?
                    Do you have a hard time understanding anything written by a non-Muslim? What does being a pious Muslim have to do with anything?
                    We’re not some special beings who are better than everyone else. It’s high time we get that through our skull.

        • Zain Ul-Abadin

          Phir bhe kuch nahi hona.

  • Lazy Sapper

    Oscar and Nobel prize are given to servants of Zionists. Shame on people like her who promote bad image of their homeland.

    • Naz

      Lazy Sapper is good and intelligent guy. I hope more people should be like him. I appreciate wat u said.

    • Jaun Raza

      Lol its reality :) instead making someone shame feel the shame

      • Lazy Sapper

        Take that shameful oscar and shove it up your cleavage where sun does not shine.

        • Jaun Raza

          bhai don’t be offended, you have your own views i have mine. she gave some positive image for Pakistan which were ruined by religious people. if you are that much Islamic and patriotic live in pak and do something positive for Pakistan :)

  • imkhalid

    sharmeen baji ager Sharam hoto Aafia Siddiqui ki be-gunahi pe bhi ek documentry banado pls

    • Eli Ehsan

      aah! forgot That one. QOM KI CHAHEETI, ISLAM KI CHEETI, AFIA SIDDIQUI… :D :D :D :D

      • Lazy Sapper

        Go wash your ugly face.

      • Jaun Raza

        Lolz jiskay pass usa nationality they :p

  • RT

    We’re proud that she won an oscar for the country about our cruelty and barbarism. “#FeelingProud”

  • Shehzad

    I had the privilege of watching a documentary by sharmeen on
    talibanization and all. The words used in that documentary were
    depicting as if the whole of Pakistan is a tribal area n every single
    paki man is a terrorist.
    Malala & Sharmeen obaid are exactly the
    same story. Highlighting whatever is ugly in Pakistan and making them
    look like heroes… The oscars are not given without a reason and this
    spotlight is deliberate. There’s a million things positive she could
    portray and they will never win an award. I am NOT proud of Sharmeens
    achievement and I feel sorry for all Pakistanis who think this is a win
    for the country. This is a loss and an embarrassment. ‪
    By Omer Khalid Anwar (And i completely agreed with him)

    • Arslan Ejaz

      Completely Agree

  • Rizwan

    She go oscar for defaming Pakistan I guess we should Start abusing us this might also get us an oscar

  • Rizwan

    We’re proud that she won an oscar for the country about our cruelty and barbarism. “#FeelingProud”

  • fahad

    When writers and newspapers praise Mossad agents like Sharmeen and Malala then there is no hope left for Pakistan.

  • KMQ

    Yeh documentary aur jo last documentary ne award win kia tha. Woh kabhi humare logon ko kyun nahi dikhai jati? On local TV channel or something? Humain bhi tu pata chale in documentaries main aisa kia heart touching hai jo har bar award le jati hain.

    • Jaun Raza

      Its on youtube, baqi bhai ankhen aur kaan khulai rakhen har ghar ki kahani hai yahan

  • Jaun Raza

    Hatts off to her , real pakistani she is.

  • Abdul Haseeb

    when I read a title of this news…i will use a slang word about her… PONKA

  • Muhammad Waqar

    Sharmeen Obaid’s Oscar
    my foot ,,, lanat iss per…

    Mashhoor ho gaye kameeny log
    Khaak mei mil gaye naginey log

    • Zain Ul-Abadin

      lol good Shayari :-)

  • BADAR

    Congratulations to Sharmeen Obaid

  • Xeeshan Saleem

    Is she proud of Pakistan? ?

  • Zain Ul-Abadin

    Oscar us ko milta hai jo Islam kay khilaaf kuch kehta hai.

  • Farhan Tahir

    lanat beshumar is per

  • Mustafa Jamal

    Proud ? What a nonsense article.