The woman I chose to highlight this week was recently associated with this year's Academy Awards. Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, was an Oscar recipient for her documentary, A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness. This film highlights the issue of honor killings in Pakistan. It traces the story of a young woman, Saba, who was shot by relatives to redeem their family name and honor. She was then dumped into a river and miraculously survived to tell her story. This is Sharmeen's second Oscar win, among many other awards and accolades for her documentary filmmaking, journalism and humanitarian work. In 2012, Time magazine also included her on their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Not too shabby!
In my last blog post I made a comment regarding some feelings I have about the news/media . It included my thoughts on the overwhelming influence that news can have on our world views. I still stand by these feelings, but at the same time I do appreciate proper journalism and storytelling. What I dislike is the way some of it is shared, the constant repetition of certain stories and the manipulation/bias that is often present. This is why I respect documentary filmmakers so much. They maintain the integrity and authenticity of a story, person or topic. Sharmeen seems to approach her work with a fierce sense of determination and loyalty. Often what she's sharing in her films are intimate stories that represent a larger issue. Her films provide the opportunity for victims to share their truth and to hopefully find a bit of healing. While at the same time, they're also an outlet to inform the world of specific issues that often go unheard.
Below is a video of Sharmeen sharing a bit of her story and some of the projects she's worked on. I also provide a link to her website which lists all her films and latest happenings. She's an incredible woman that utilizes her talents for the greater good of humanity. I really believe she has the potential to change circumstances with the power of storytelling.
Thoughts for next week: Not sure yet, but something GOOD darn it!
Big Hugs - J