Pakistani-Canadian Oscar Winner Made Earlier Documentary About Missing Aboriginal Women


Pakistani-Canadian filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won Pakistan’s first Oscar on Sunday, for her documentary Saving Face, which depicts the story of women disfigured by acid attacks.

Lesser-known on the impressive list of productions by the 33-year-old is Highway of Tears, which she made in 2006 about the aboriginal women who have gone missing along Highway 16, the famous stretch of road between Prince George and Prince Rupert in British Columbia.

Tellingly, Prime Minister Stephen Harper congratulated Christopher Plummer for his win as best supporting actor in Beginners, but his statement did not include a word about Obaid-Chinoy. He even congratulated the Canadian tech award winners.

The Huffington Post reports that Obaid-Chinoy could not get funding for Highway of Tears from any Canadian outfits. It was Al Jazeera that finally financed the documentary.

The 84th Academy Awards saw a black-and-white film, The Artist, win best picture. Meryl Streep won as best actress for her portrayal of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in Iron Lady, while the best actor nod went to Jean DuJardin for The Artist. Best supporting actress was Octavia Spencer, The Help. Although George Clooney was considered a favorite for The Descendants, about a family coming to terms with a number of issues, including their Native Hawaiian heritage, The Artist swept the awards, with wins for costume design, directing and music for a total of five.

Below, a trailer for Highway of Tears, and underneath it a trailer for the Oscar-winning documentary.