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Dir. Annam Abbas
2021, Canada, Pakistan, 90 min
Urdu and English with English subtitles

Detailing the preparation of the multi-city Aurat March (Women’s March) in Pakistan, This Stained Dawn tells the story of a feminist movement asserting itself in the country’s urban spaces through the eyes of the march’s organizers. Filmmaker Anam Abbas follows the organizers as they negotiate a deeply surveilled, paranoia-inducing, and often physically violent space in the hopes of spurring a revolution. The film’s approach is, suitably, a polyphonic one. Observational footage of the event’s planning and orchestration mixes with animation, and archive, tracing a history of the state suppression of women’s resistance in Pakistan and illuminating the urgency of the unfolding struggle of today, where “my body, my choice” becomes a controversial slogan that holds the country’s imagination in its grip. What emerges is a philosophical work, not just about the Aurat March, but about the act of political organizing itself.

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