Banaz: A Love Story

Jun 24, 2024 | People, Videos

Banaz Mahmod was a young woman with a promising future, but her story ended in tragedy when she became the victim of an “honor killing” at the age of 20. Strangled to death and stuffed into a suitcase, her murder was carried out by members of her own family after she sought to break free from the oppressive culture and traditions of her heritage. Now, her remarkable story is told in the feature-length documentary Banaz: A Love Story.

Mahmod had moved with her family from northern Iraq to Britain when she was 10 years old. Seven years later, she was forced into an arranged marriage which quickly became violent and threatening. When Mahmod decided to end the marriage and follow her heart by falling in love with someone else, it was perceived as an act of defiance against her culture – one punishable by death according to those closest to her.

The film paints a heartbreaking portrait of Mahmod as a beautiful young woman who desperately sought freedom from the restrictions on women’s rights imposed upon her since childhood. In fact, Mahmod and all of her sisters were subjected to female genital mutilation at a young age – yet another reminder of how vulnerable women are in this environment. In the weeks leading up to Mahmod’s death, she repeatedly sought help from police forces yet was met only with indifference and inaction each time.

Banaz: A Love Story has won multiple prestigious awards for its honest portrayal of Mahmod’s life and tragic death. It is often difficult to watch due to its subject matter, but it demands attention and empathy from viewers everywhere. This powerful documentary sheds light on the continuing issue of honor killings within certain cultures worldwide and shows us why it is so important that we stand up for our rights even in the face of oppression. We urge everyone to take some time out of their day to watch this thought-provoking film and honor Banaz Mahmod’s memory through understanding.

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David B