Killing Honor?
Forbidden Lies
Review by Ross Anthony

A documentary with style. Although, here I would use the word "documentary" loosely. Director Anna Broinowski chooses to make this work more of an artistic experience, than a rigid objective news piece. I like it. The irony is that she's exploring whether or not her subject (Norma Khouri) had done the same thing with her international bestselling book "Forbidden Love" (a supposed true story on honor killing in the Middle East).

Anna draws expressive, fascinating, impassioned responses from her interviewees and often paints them into a surreal background using tasteful cinematic special effects. Normally, I feel special effects in documentaries is a no-no, but Anna seems happy to let this work be something less factual than a doc, while at the same time, less fiction than a drama. Faction -- the word is spoken by participants.

It's a compelling story with a deathly serious topic, treated in a near sideshow manner. I like it. Audiences will certainly get wrapped up in trying to decipher what exactly is truth and what is lie. But in the end, the doc seems to enjoy not making this completely obvious, almost as if, that was never its point. Oddly, in an entertaining way, Norma's claimed main goal, is achieved -- awareness of an important human rights issue is heightened.

This film prompted an extended interesting discussion. One of many missing pieces: I would have liked Anna to confirm or deny the existence of husband John's criminal record.

-- Books by Author/Illustrator Ross Anthony --

  • Forbidden Lies. Copyright © 2009.
  • Starring Norma Khouri. Directed by Anna Broinowski at Roxie Releasing.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

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Copyright © 1998-2022 Ross Anthony, Author - Speaker - Solo World Circumnavigator In addition to reviewing films and interviewing celebs at, traveling the world, composing great music, motivational speaking, Mr. Anthony also runs his own publishing company in the Los Angeles area. While traversing the circumference of the planet writing books and shooting documentaries, Mr. Anthony has taught, presented for, worked &/or played with locals in over 30 countries & 100 cities (Nairobi to Nagasaki). He's bungee-jumped from a bridge near Victoria Falls, wrestled with lions in Zimbabwe, crashed a Vespa off a high mountain road in Taiwan, and ridden a dirt bike across the States (Washington State to Washington DC). To get signed books ("Rodney Appleseed" to "Jinshirou") or schedule Ross to speak check out: or call 1-800-767-7186. Go into the world and inspire the people you meet with your love, kindness, and whatever it is you're really good at. Check out books by Ross Anthony. Rand() functions, Pho chicken soup, rollerblading, and frozen yogurt (w/ blueberries) also rock! (Btw, rand is short for random. It can also stand for "Really Awkward Nutty Dinosaurs" -- which is quite rand, isn't it?) Being alive is the miracle. Special thanks to Ken Kocanda, HAL, Jodie Keszek, Don Haderlein, Mom and Pops, my family, R. Foss, and many others by Ross Anthony. Galati-FE also deserves a shout out. And thanks to all of you for your interest and optimism. Enjoy great films, read stirring novels, grow.

Last Modified: Monday, 10-Aug-2009 10:28:57 PDT