Commissioned as part of the feature-length documentary strand True Stories, this special extended UK version of the Oscar®-winning film, Saving Face, chronicles the journey of pioneering British plastic surgeon Dr. Mohammad Jawad (Katie: My Beautiful Face) as he goes back to Pakistan to help the recovery of acid-attack victims.
Every year in Pakistan, over 100 people - the majority of them women - are known to be victimised by brutal acid attacks, while numerous other cases go unreported. With little or no access to reconstructive surgery, survivors are physically and emotionally scarred. Many reported assailants, typically a husband or someone else close to the victim, receive minimal punishment from the state.
Dr Jawad is the surgeon responsible for treating British acid-attack victim, Katie Piper - as documented in Channel 4's Bafta-nominated Katie: My Beautiful Face - and he regularly returns from his prominent London surgery to Pakistan to help the victims of such attacks. Oscar® and Emmy®-winning Pakistani director Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy and Oscar® winning and Emmy®-nominated American filmmaker Daniel Junge follow as Dr Jawad makes every effort to save and reconstruct the faces of two women, recently traumatised by their experiences.
Thirty-nine-year-old Zakia's husband threw acid over her after she filed for divorce. Most of the time she is too afraid to leave the house, fearing the community's and even her daughter struggles coping at school with the stigma. But as well as needing to alleviate the pain and restore functioning and features to her face, Zakia is bravely fighting for her husband to be brought to justice. Rukhsana is a 23-year-old-mother who was attacked with acid and set alight by her husband and in-laws. Forced to reconcile with them however, and continue living under the same roof, Rukhsana's life becomes impossible as the family forbid her from seeing her daughter and she seeks help.
This compelling documentary follows Zakia and Rukhsana, who are supported by NGOs such as the Acid Survivors Foundation-Pakistan and Islamic Help; sympathetic policymakers; attorney Ms. Sarkar Abbass who fights Zakia's case and female politician Marvi Memon who advocates for new legislation - all working to bring their assailants to justice and help these woman move on with their lives.
Saving Face takes an intimate look inside Pakistani society, illuminating two women's personal journey while showing how reformers in Pakistan are tackling this horrific problem.
Prod Co: Jungefilm and Milkhaus for HBO and Channel 4
Exec Prod: Sheila Nevins
Prods/Dirs: Daniel Junge, Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy
Comm Ed: Anna Miralis for Channel 4