For immediate release: June 13, 2023
Canada – Amidst a frightening rise in legislation aimed at stifling women’s reproductive rights and freedoms around the world, we urgently introduce THIS STAINED DAWN (DAGH DAGH UJALA) to our distribution catalogue. Anam Abbas standout feature directorial-debut follows Karachi’s feminist activists as they fearlessly organize for Pakistan’s multi-city Aurat March, and serves as a powerful reminder that social change is spurred by acts of political organizing and collective action. THIS STAINED DAWN premiered at the 2021 Sheffield International Documentary Festival in the International Competition section. Following an acclaimed debut at Sheffield, THIS STAINED DAWN continued its impressive festival run, screening at Yamagata International Film Festival in the New Asian Currents Competition, and the Human Rights Watch Film Festival in San Diego. The film premiered in North America at the Toronto Reel Asian International Film Festival where it earned the Truth to Power Award for Best Documentary Film.
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 organisers. Just a few weeks before the start of the pandemic, 10,000 protesters gathered in Karachi. Filmmaker Anam Abbas follows the organisers of the march 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 organising itself.
THIS STAINED DAWN is produced by Anam Abbas through her production company Other Memory Media. The film features a score by Rahema Zaheer, and includes bold and colourful animation sequences by Aziza Ahmed.
THIS STAINED DAWN is available to book in Canada for community screenings and educational licensing. For distribution inquiries, please email booking [at] cinemapolitica [dot] org.