A Pakistani filmmaker's second Oscar victory prompted celebration Monday in her country and also renewed the spotlight on honor killings, which claim thousands of women's lives every year in Pakistan.
Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy won in the short-subject documentary category for "A Girl in the River: The Price of Forgiveness." Her film traces the story of Saba Qaiser, a teenager whose father shot her in the head and dumped her in a river for marrying a man her family didn't approve of.
Saba survived and sought justice, a rare story in Pakistan, where women and girls — and a small number of men — believed to have shamed their families are killed despite legislation outlawing the practice. Loopholes exist in Pakistani law under which survivors can "forgive" their assailants — often husbands, fathers and brothers — which allows the attackers to escape serious punishment.
The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan documented nearly 500 deaths in honor killings last year, although advocacy groups believe that thousands of cases go unreported annually.
Obaid-Chinoy's searing film drew praise not just from human rights organizations but from Pakistan's government. Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif held a screening at his official residence last week, the first time the film was shown in Pakistan, and promised the government's help in eradicating the practice.
Sharif said in a statement Monday that "there is no place for killing in the name of honor in Islam," and vowed legislation "to stop such brutal and inhumane acts."
Zac Brown Band is coming back
Just as they've lined up another promising new slugger to hopefully raise their team batting average, the Twins have booked another rowdy country act into Target Field this summer: The Zac Brown Band will make its headlining debut at the ballpark on May 28, the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend. Tickets go on sale March 12 at 10 a.m. through TwinsBaseball.com for $49-$109. Known for their jammy, rocky live shows, Brown & Co. previously played Target Field in 2013 opening for Kenny Chesney.
Other concert news announced Monday: First Avenue has booked Wilco to play Aug. 20 with Kurt Vile on Hall's Island, the revamped Minneapolis riverfront park where Alabama Shakes played to 8,000 fans last summer. "Thrift Shop" hip-hop hitmakers Macklemore & Ryan Lewis will take on their first local arena show June 8 at Target Center. And Def Leppard will return for its third Twin Cities gig in just over one year Oct. 5 at Xcel Energy Center with fellow classic-rock mainstays REO Speedwagon. Tickets for all three concerts go on sale Friday.
farewell: Rod Lucier, who promoted the 1959 Winter Dance Party show featuring Buddy Holly at the Moorhead Armory, has died. He was 82. As all Holly fans know, the show went on without the headliners because Holly, Richie Valens and the Big Bopper had died in a plane crash in Mason City, Iowa, just after performing at the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake. Lucier, who died Feb. 21 after a long career at Moorhead's KVOX Radio as a sports announcer, also booked performances by such rock 'n' roll stars as Johnny Cash and Gene Vincent at the armory. Without the Dance Party headliners, the Feb. 3, 1959, show needed some local talent. The Shadows, who auditioned at the last minute, performed that night. One member, Robert Velline of Fargo, would later become rock star Bobby Vee. In a 1999 interview with the Fargo Forum, Lucier said about 1,000 people had to be turned away from the concert that he paid $750 to book. Dick Dunkirk, bassist for the Shadows, called Lucier "a mover and shaker for live entertainment."