A feature documentary that explores the current feminist movement in urban Pakistan through the eyes of women organizers of the Aurat March (Women’s March) as we countdown to the event, when 10,000 protesters gathered in Karachi on 8th March 2020. We follow the organizers as they negotiate through a deeply surveilled, paranoid, and threatening environment in the hopes of a revolution. We find a tightly knit community of young womxn in Karachi who are changing the face of their city and its culture through their sometimes quiet, sometimes raging resistance.
Observational footage of the organisers of the 2020 March is supported by animation and archive that trace a history of state suppression of women’s resistance in Pakistan and illuminate the urgency of the unfolding struggle of today.
Dir. Anam Abbas - 89min - 2021 - Pakistan
"In 2018, I was able to participate in the organization of a historic, diverse and joyous Women's March in Karachi, which in 2019 and 2020 was replicated in 11 cities in Pakistan, resulting in heated, and much needed debates about the role of women in domestic and public spaces and a massive outcry from the religious right. As the state pushes a narrative that criminalizes feminists and accuses the movement for being anti-state and funded by anti-state actors, the film retorts by presenting a reality of grassroots work, political and ideological engagement and a multiplicity of voices that make the current moment." - Director, Anam Abbas
"Anam Abbas’s stirring documentary follows...courageous activists who dare to make their voices heard...A powerful performance piece in which women across different cities stomp and clap while shouting their demands for an end to violence, This Stained Dawn ends with an exhilarating and powerful battle cry for women’s rights." - Guardian
"a philosophical work, not just about the Aurat March, but about the act of political organising itself." - Sheffield Doc Fest
"This vibrant and clamorous film shines its lens on contemporary Pakistan...a reminder that the fight for gender equality is relentless, universal, and far from over" - Winner of the Truth to Power Award, Reel Asian Film Fest.
"not just about one protest, but about the often times revolutionary act of political organizing in itself." - Human Rights Watch Film Festival.