I’ve been catching up on some of the oscar nominated female led documentaries recently, here are some of my mini reviews.
A Girl in The River: The Price of Forgiveness
Directed by Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy (Song of Lahore, Saving Face), this film won the Academy Award for best short documentary film. Set in Pakistan, Saba is the victim of an attempted honour killing committed by her father and uncle for marrying without parental consent. The documentary follows her story and the legal proceedings that followed. The story is both human and political, showing the unfair and sexist legal process and the pressure upon her to forgive her attempted murderers (which would grant them their freedom). Throughout the film Saba is shown struggling with her decision, her community and village elders demanding she make peace despite it putting her in danger. Overall, A Girl in The River: The Price of Forgiveness is both compelling and infuriating.
The Hunting Ground
Directed by Kirby Dick, the film explores the epidemic of sexual assault on college campuses in the United States, the ways in which the college’s try to hide it and the effect it has on the victims. The majority of the film is young men and women describing their experiences at college cut together with horrifying statistics and statements from college current and former staff. Whilst it has some questionable statistics present in the film the raw emotional core is one of anger and betrayal by the college system one which I believe can be felt here in the UK as well. The Hunting Ground is a battle cry against the colleges who have tried to keep these women silent and is a compelling documentary to watch.