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Forbidden Lie$ (2007)

 -  Documentary | Drama  -  3 April 2009 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 475 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 7 user | 28 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

A dramatized documentary investigating accusations that "Forbidden Love" author Norma Khouri made up her biographical tale of a Muslim friend who was killed for dating a Christian.

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Title: Forbidden Lie$ (2007)

Forbidden Lie$ (2007) on IMDb 7.7/10

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4 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Norma Khouri ...
Herself - The Artist
Malcolm Knox ...
Himself - The Press
Rana Husseini ...
Herself - The Press
Caroline Overington ...
Herself - The Press
Jon Yates ...
Himself - The Press
Ed Torian ...
Himself - The Law
Frank Bochte ...
Himself - The Law
Dawn Lawkowski ...
Herself - The Law
Rachel Richardson ...
Herself - The Fan
Kara Elliot ...
Herself - The Fan
Maree Elliot ...
Herself - The Fan
John Toliopoulos ...
Himself - The Clan
Majid Bagain ...
Himself - The Clan
Asma Bagain ...
Herself - The Clan
Cousin Faris ...
Himself - The Clan
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A dramatized documentary investigating accusations that "Forbidden Love" author Norma Khouri made up her biographical tale of a Muslim friend who was killed for dating a Christian.

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Documentary | Drama

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3 April 2009 (USA)  »

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Forbidden Lie$  »

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Fascinating
18 March 2007 | by (Adelaide, Australia) – See all my reviews

I saw this film at the Adelaide Film Festival '07 and was thoroughly intrigued for all 106 minutes. I like documentaries, but often find them dragging with about 25 minutes to go. Forbidden Lie$ powered on though, never losing my interest.

The film's subject is Norma Khoury, a Jordanian woman who found fame and fortune in 2001 with the publication of her book Forbidden Love, a biographical story of sorts concerning a Muslim friend of hers who was murdered by her family for having a relationship with a Christian man. A few years later though, a few journalists started poking holes in the story, leading the public to believe it was fraud. The film covers this quickly but thoroughly in the beginning, and from there we spend most of our time in the company of Norma as she tries to convince us that her novel is more than fiction.

Director Anna Broinowski has found a truly fascinating woman to study, and she conducts endless interviews with Khoury as she seeks the truth. As always in life, the truth is not so easy to find. Norma fears for her life, worried about violent backlash over the unsavoury portrait her novel paints of Jordanian Muslims. She refuses to return to Jordan and show us the facts. Broinowski is not deterred however, and slowly puts the pieces together in front of us.

The result is an incredible look inside the mind of a con artist. Naturally, what we find there makes little sense and is extremely difficult to follow, and ultimately we don't know whether to believe Norma or not. She's either a rather unfairly put-upon woman trying to survive, or a fantastic spinster. The web of lies, truths and half-truths she turns through the film is brilliant.

The film uses much interview footage, as well as dramatisations to tell it's story, and Broinowski uses these dramatisations to show us why people like Norma are able to exist: we want to be conned. We go to the cinema every day and allow ourselves to believe what's happening on the screen is real. That might just be me reading into things a bit too much, it didn't come up in the Q&A with Brionowski after the film, but that's what I took away from it.

This is a great Australian film, and must receive an international release, and a swag of awards if you ask me. Certainly the best film I saw at AFF07.

Go see it, if you get the chance.


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