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Pakistani legal rape drama

MukhtarMai.jpgThe story of Mukhtar Mai is to be made into a film written and directed by the co-director of City of God, Kátia Lund. Mai's story is harrowing and incredibly poignant, telling how she fought a legal battle against the unbelievable treatment she received at the hands of the tribal elders in Pakistan.

It tells how she pleaded for the release of her younger brother who was accused of seeing a woman from a rival tribe, they accepted her pleas but ordered her gang raped in public to shame her family.

This is apparently not the first time this kind of punishment has been metered out in such a way, and the victims more often than not commit suicide rather than live with the shame and pain. However Mukhtar Mai was different, and she raised a case with the Pakistani authorities against the men who condemned her and attacked her.

While the case might have gone relatively unnoticed, press from around the world picked up the story and began talking about the events. Variety tells us that it was an article in the New York Times that really drew the attention to the case and raised the profile to a worldwide case of human rights.

With this pressure the Pakistani authorities were forced to prosecute those who were behind the terrifying attack and she has moved on to become a leading figure in the move to reform women's rights within Pakistan.

Now it seems that her story, which she has already written about in her book In the Name of Honour (Amazon.co.uk / Amazon.com) is to be made into a film that will be both hard hitting and enlightening.

Producers said that Mai wrote a treatment for the script herself, but it was very difficult to secure funding. Now that they have the even more surprising fact is that it will be shown in Pakistan as part of the film's release schedule, and that's surprising considering how controversial the story itself was there, never mind a film treatment of it.

I hope this film does get some big recognition and a wide release, but I can see it cause a lot of stir when released in any culture that allows such decisions to be made and such evil acts carried out for whatever reasons.

It'll be very interesting to see what Kátia Lund will make of the project too, and if she can bring the kind of passion and revelation to it the story that we saw with City of God and City of Men.



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