*When Norma Khouri published Forbidden Love, the heartbreaking memoir about the murder of her best friend was translated into 15 languages and became a runaway best-seller. After all, since 9/11, many Westerners have become more interested in understanding Muslim culture.
So, a biography about an ill-fated young Jordanian woman killed by her own father merely for falling in love with a Christian was the type of incendiary tome for which a big publishing house was prepared to pony up a sizable, six-figure advance. The book, which claimed that over 5,000 Jordanian females per year fall victim to such honor killings, instantly turned Khouri into a celebrity, especially after she promised that part of the proceeds would be going to a charity dedicated to helping women escape the oppression by Islam.
In reality, however, Ms. Khouri was a con artist from Chicago. This explains why her tawdry tale was riddled with so many inaccuracies that the publisher would’ve easily uncovered had it hired someone familiar to fact-check the book before going to press.
Furthermore, had the company investigated the author’s checkered past, it would have learned that she was a fugitive from justice who was wanted for fleecing an 89 year-old widow with Alzheimer’s of her entire life savings of a half-million dollars. When these and many other shocking truths began to emerge, the book was belatedly recalled, but not before considerable damage had already been done to the image of Islam or before Khoury had raked in a small fortune via sales and speaking engagements.
Directed by Anna Broinowski, Forbidden Lie$ is as fascinating a peek into the mind of a compulsive liar as you will ever see, guaranteed. For some reason, the despicable Khouri fully cooperated with the project, ostensibly appearing on camera with the aim of clearing her name. However, she proves no match for the brilliant director who arrived well-prepared for their series of contentious tete-a-tetes, capturing revealing interviews on tape during which the slippery sociopath simply hangs herself at every turn.
A chilling, edge-of-your-seat expose’ that puts you face-to-face for two hours with the embodiment of pure evil.
Excellent (4 stars)
In English and Arabic with subtitles.
Running time: 104 minutes
DVD Extras: Commentary by the director and Norma Khouri, the director’s diary, deleted scenes, interviews with the filmmakers, trailers, and four featurettes,
To see a trailer for Forbidden Lie$, visit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0emT5t9aLE
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