|Index||5 reviews in total|
It is amazing to see the ignorance that surrounds the people of
America. The world starts and ends with what we would like to believe.
Bad only happens in far away lands; how can evil lurk amidst "us" - the
land of civilized? The ignorance shown by the man who has posted the
earlier column is resonant with the utter nonsense doled out to us by
the media, academicians, and western feminists (the kid should spend
more time watching slasher films instead of brave, intelligent and
emotionally charged films like Beyond Honor).
Bill Maher gets it right when he says that Americans have lost or are losing their edge in innovation in the world. The main reason is not just our ignorance but arrogance too.
Beyond Honor filmmakers are in touch with the real world. The real world where children are sold off into slavery and women are punished for being women. Go to parts of Africa, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Middle East and then you will be puking your guts out when you see how women are treated like animals. We can only look down upon the rest of the world as barbaric. What about our history? It was not too long ago that whites were lynching blacks, just for being black. Beyond Honor depicts the stark reality of humans at their worst. How else can you explain the genocide of 6 million Jews just for following their faith? The film has stayed with me all these days since I saw it in West Hills. It still makes my heart hurt, just like it did when I was a volunteer physician in Africa a decade ago. I have in my various travels around the world met people that you see in this film. This film is not just about some far away tribe in some other world. Beyond Honor analyzes concepts of honor that we would never even start to comprehend in our western minds.
A brave and daring endeavor by the filmmakers, who are able to address culture clash as never been depicted before. Kudos!
i stumbled upon this film on paddy's day in new york. clearly one of those moments when you walk into a theater not knowing what to expect. my wife and i were blown away by this film. we have never had a film have such an impact on me. my wife and i are still discussing it. the film opened our eyes. even though it is a fictional piece of work - it is so real. we were on the edge of our seats from the time we walked in. from the first scene till the end of the film - we could not take our eyes off. the acting is great, the story is mind blowing. the film is so real that the characters are still with us, actually haunting us. takes a lot of guts to make a real daring film. a must see.
"Beyond Honor" takes extremely important and serious issues of the
treatment of women and didactically reduces them to the stereotyped
treatment of an R-rated after-school special.
From the heavy-handed symbolic opening scene of an innocent little girl observing the ritual slaughter of a goat, debut writer/director Varun Khanna draws all his immigrant characters in the most simplistic outlines.
While the central character of the striving medical student "Sahira" is dynamically brought to life by Mirelly Taylor, the rest of the acting seems to be done by stick figures. Wadie Andrawis's father loses any point of demonstrating specific issues of possible suppression of women in Arab immigrant communities to seeming to be at the very least a universal domestic abuser of his wife and children to seeming to be violently mentally deranged. Even the traditionally religious men in border-line agit prop Middle Eastern films as "The Circle (Dayereh)", "Kadosh" and "Osama" weren't presented so cartoonishly evil. By the end of the film the dialog pretty much consists of shouted obscenities.
Though the same day I happened to see this film in a theater, "E.R." broadcast a very similar story line with a similarly obsessed revengefully religious brother driven partly by post-9/11 pressures and a blond boyfriend, that doesn't make this character any more human here, as he was equally poorly written, with an added twist of repressed sexuality spilling out into in ever more abusive ways.
The traditional women are presented en masse with as eyes-only visible through their chadors or burkhas, or whatever they are called, though my understanding is that they wouldn't wear those indoors among family members.
The climatically violent scene is presented like a slo-mo "Perils of Pauline" silent film confrontation.
Though this film does a poor job of representing such a serious issue, it does tack on the end of the film facts and links about female genital mutilation. Over the past few years there have been many excellent films about the Middle-Eastern/South Asian-immigrant experience in the U.S., including issues for women. A much more effective and dramatic treatment about honor killings was a short I saw at the Tribeca Film Festival "In The Morning", directed by Danielle Lurie, which is evidently being used by non-profit organizations who are more effectively fighting such horrors than these unfortunately cardboard caricatures accomplish.
(My original version of this review, posted 24 March 2006, offended someone. This has been revised 29 March 2008)
This movie is extremely hard to watch, but that is because the characters are so real that you begin to feel their pain. It is a really good movie and an important movie. Should be in more theaters. There are a lot of good sub-plots. The whole family in the film is fascinating to watch. Also look for the boyfriend of the lead actress's friend in the movie. He is also on the show Twins with Melanie Griffith. Only an independent film would be able to make this movie. Hollywood would never touch this subject even though they could do A Million Dollar Baby. This could be the most controversial film I've ever seen.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is one is tough, I must warn. So much good intention with bad film
making intertwined into this film. I think I understand why there is so
much passion behind the critics words on their take of Beyond Honor. I
don't want to always talk about the main stream critics here judging
small underfunded films, but they have a great point to make on this
one. The director had no idea what he was doing. It's evident. The only
right thing he did was cast a brilliant actress as his lead.
There are scenes that should be handled with much delicacy and care that are instead left to the actress to save. Mirelly Taylor is so stunning in this film as Sahira. She makes you laugh and cry at the same time while showing you the importance of understanding the impudent and cruel nature of other cultures to appreciate what we have here in America. We have the right to choose, and the right to voice our opinions, and the right to sacrifice for the love of our family. I defy anyone to watch this film without falling in love with this actress.
She tears into your soul and you are left with the memory of an innocent young girl stripped of her beauty and spirit. It's an unforgettable tour de force performance.
I recommend you watch and see her for yourself and forgive the film for having a useless director as it's captain.
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