Banaz: A Love Story

Banaz Mahmod was murdered by her own family, in an honour killing. This film tells Banaz’s story, in her own words, for the first time – and tells the story of the extraordinary police team who refused to give up, and finally brought her killers to justice.
Country: UK Runtime: 70 Director(s): Deeyah
Cast: Caroline Goode, Diana Nammi, Nazir Afzal

Winner of the International Emmy for Best International Current Affairs Film. Banaz Mahmod was murdered by her own family, in an honour killing. This film tells Banaz’s story, in her own words, for the first time – and tells the story of the extraordinary police team who refused to give up, and finally brought her killers to justice.

FILM FESTIVALS: Raindance Film Festival 2012

RAINDANCE REVIEW:

In the UK, it is estimated there are over 12 honour killings a year, although the true number may never be known. Banaz: A Love Story follows the horrifying events in the killing of Banaz Mahmod, murdered in January 2006 by her own family in retaliation for leaving her abusive husband and falling in love with another man.

Banaz’s family fled Saddam’s Iraq in 1998, but like many Kurdish immigrants their strict traditions were only reinforced by the identity crisis they faced living in a foreign culture. Growing up, Banaz and her sisters faced domestic violence and female genital mutilation in the name of the family keeping face in their community. Even sadder, Banaz was let down by the police too; after going to them following a murder attempt by her father, she was sent back to live in the family home.

But the film doesn’t fail to warm, as well as disgust. It is an outpouring of love from Bekhal, Banaz’s sister, who bravely testifies against her own family despite the danger to her life, and it is a testament to the love felt by Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode, who lead the search for the body and the killers. A completely absorbing, upsetting, enraging, heart-felt and must-watch film.

Orestes Kouzof