In the Name of the Family
Shelley Saywell / Canada / 2010 / 60 min.
According to UN reports, approximately 5,000 honour killings occur around the world every year. The bulk of these crimes take place in the Middle East and southeast Asia, but they happen in Western countries as well. Shelley Saywell, the director of this disturbing film initially looks at a story from Toronto, where a Pakistani immigrant murders his own 16-year-old daughter Aqsa. Several weeks later, the American city of Dallas is shocked by the murder of two teenage sisters Amina and Sarah by their Egyptian father. A few months afterwards in Rochester, NY , 19-year-old Fauzia, the daughter of Afghan parents, miraculously survives her brother's attempt to stab her to death. Through candid interviews with friends and acquaintances of the victims, the film examines the circumstances and escalating tensions that culminated in these family crimes and it also looks at the reaction of the local Muslim community. In eerie parallel, we meet other girls from immigrant families who continue to live in fear of their close relatives. They are forced to lead a double life - their family life, controlled by the rules of a conservative brand of Islam, and their own life, which is not constrained by the notions of their authoritative and violent family members.