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Norma Khouri's 2001 international best-selling memoir, Forbidden Love, about the honour killing in Jordan of her friend Dalia (Linda Mutawi), was exposed as fake by Sydney journalist Malcolm Knox in 2004. This documentary explores the intricate web of lies spun by Khouri through probing interviews with Khouri, the media, doctors in Jordan, women's rights activists, her family and her publishers Random House.

Review by Andrew L. Urban:
A gripping thriller of a doco, Forbidden Lie$ mixes dramatisation as well as traditional investigative methods, including award winning Australian filmmaker Anna Broinowski herself as the reporter, resulting in a fascinating, complex film that keeps the surprises coming. And I'm not going to spoil any of them here.

The film's tagline is 'who do you believe?' and for much of the film we really are thrown from one insecure position to another. Broinowski often uses stylised settings for the interviews with Khouri, other times it's fly on the wall, or car-cam, hotel rooms and Jordanian suburbs. Superbly edited into a cohesive whole, the doco contains vast amounts of information but it's always clearly presented; a real challenge.

Khouri is co-operative to the fullest, at times sweet and charming, at times bitter and angry. Her central claim is that her book was meant to arouse international interest in the subject of young women murdered by their family in so called honour killings. As to the truth of the book's details, she applies a shifting argument that is always shielded by this high moral ground.

Khouri's machinations are sublime in their intricacy and fascinating as a study of one woman's extraordinary story - and that's before we open the Pandora's box about the FBI's interest in her for fraud. This is a lesson in spin that'll make your head spin.

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(Aust, 2007)

CAST: Dramatised documentary featuring Norma Khouri, Linda Mutawi, Shahin Azimi, Fariborz Zareei, Farhad Noori, Sara Azadegan

PRODUCER: Anna Broinowski, Sally Regan

DIRECTOR: Anna Broinowski

SCRIPT: Anna Broinowski

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Kathryn Milliss, Toby Oliver

EDITOR: Alison Croft, Vanessa Milton

OTHER: Robert Webb (drama designer)

RUNNING TIME: 108 minutes


AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: September 13, 2007

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