Censor Board bans documentary ‘My Mother’s Daughter’ about forced religious conversion – The Current
Filmmakers Ahmen Khawaja and Mariam Khan took to their social media accounts to call out Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors for censoring their short documentary ‘My Mother’s Documentary’ which was due to screen at the Women International Film Festival.
The documentary explores the issue of forced religious conversions by following the life of a minor christian girl who was abducted and forcibly married to a middle-aged man.
Khan shared the letter sent by the censor board which had based its reasons for censoring the film by calling it “propaganda” as well as for highlighting “wrong values” which are “against the Pakistani culture and society.”
“On International Women’s Day we found out that Pakistan’s Central Board of Film Censors in Islamabad (CBFC) has decided to censor our short documentary My Mother’s Daughter and is not allowing it to screen this weekend at the @womenthroughfilm film festival.
The film follows the real story of a minor Christian girl in Faisalabad who is abducted by a middle aged man, forcefully married to him and converted to Islam. Up to 1,000 young girls are forcefully converted every year (1), and to call this propaganda is a gross injustice to their plight and stories. We spent months verifying the case and going to court hearings with the survivor to ensure the utmost authenticity in the film. The censor board seems to be of the view that our film is ‘propaganda that is trying to highlight wrong values that go against the culture in Pakistan’. Upon speaking directly with the Chairperson, we were told “the full board review can’t be done before the festival because the office is being renovated”. Please help spread the word because women’s stories deserve to be told.”
‘My Mother’s Daughter’ had also won the Short Documentary Award at the DC South Asian Film Festival last year.