When Worlds Collide, by Nalaka Gunawardene

Text of my ‘When Worlds Collide’ column published in Ceylon Today Sunday newspaper on 11 March 2012

I was both delighted and depressed watching the 84th Academy (Oscar) Awards ceremony, held in Hollywood on 26 February 2012.

I shared the jubilation of all Pakistanis over their first Oscar, won by young woman film maker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy. She and American co-director Daniel Junge won it for the year’s best short documentary. Titled ‘Saving Face’, it is about Pakistani women surviving acid attacks, a dastardly crime that affects at least 100 women every year. Many more cases go unreported.

‘Saving Face’ features two survivors: their battle for justice and arduous journey of healing. It also follows plastic surgeon Dr Mohammad Jawad, who left his lucrative London practice to make multiple surgical mission trips to his home country and help the affected women.

Obaid-Chinoy made an impassioned acceptance speech, dedicating the…

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