Banaz: A Love Story

Banaz: A Love Story is a 2012 documentary film directed and produced by Deeyah Khan.[1] The film chronicles the life and death of Banaz Mahmod, a young British-Iraqi woman of Kurdish origin killed in 2006 in South London on the orders of her family in a so-called honour killing.[2] The film received its UK premiere at the Raindance Film Festival in London September 2012.[3]

Banaz: A Love Story
Banaz: A Love Story
Directed byDeeyah Khan
  • Banaz Mahmod
  • Bekhal Mahmod
  • Caroline Goode
  • Diana Nammi
  • Nazir Afzal
  • Palbinder Singh
  • Victor Temple
  • Bobbie Cheema
  • Joanne Payton
  • Andy Craig
  • Stuart Reeves
Theme music composerL. Subramaniam
Country of originUnited Kingdom/ Norway
Original languageEnglish
CinematographyJeremiah Chapman
Running time70 minutes
Original release29 September 2012 (2012-09-29)


Banaz Mahmoud was born in Iraqi Kurdistan and moved to England with her family when she was 10 years old. At the age of 17, her parents had arranged a marriage between her and a man 10 years older than her. Within months the marriage turned violent and Banaz requested a divorce. In the coming months, Banaz fell in love with someone of her own choosing, something which was found to be shameful by her family. Banaz was kept in confinement by her family, beaten, and forbidden to see her lover. She escaped and sought help from authorities, to no avail. She wrote a letter to police, detailing her situation and stating that her father should be investigated if anything were to happen to her. In January 2006, Banaz was killed by family members, in a plot which was initiated by her father. In total, Banaz went to the police 5 times before her death, but did not get the help she needed. Detective Chief Inspector Caroline Goode of the Metropolitan Police led the investigation to recover the body of Banaz and her killers, securing the first ever extradition from Iraq to Britain.

"…. a completely shocking, revealing, and timely insight into the scourge of 'honour killing'. … quite literally a horror movie tracking the brutal and agonising life, love, and death of Banaz Mahmod who is terrorised and ultimately put to death by the very people who should have loved her most – her family."
Jon Snow, Channel 4[4]

"…Like watching a car-crash in slow motion the amount of information dredged up in BANAZ: A LOVE STORY suffocates you. You know the outcome, yet here you are taking it all in wondering why the hell nobody was able to stop it from happening......This gradual drip-drip of information leading to tragedy feels much like Dreams of a Life, the account of how Joyce Vincent dropped out of society to die alone in 2003.”
David Perilli [5]

"If their own blood relatives discarded, betrayed, forgot and harmed them, then they are our children, our sisters our mothers that we will mourn, we will remember, we will honour their memory and we will not forget!"
Deeyah talked to Safeworld about her reason for making the film.[6]

Film screeningsEdit

Banaz: A Love Story has been re-versioned for ITV's UK investigative journalism series Exposure, for UK national broadcast on 31 October in co-production with Hardcash Productions and Fuuse Films.[7] The re-versioned film for ITV Exposure is named: BANAZ – AN HONOUR KILLING.

Further screenings of Banaz A Love Story:


Year Award Category Result
2013 Peabody Award[9] International TV Documentary Won
2013 Emmy[10] Best International Current Affairs Won
2013 Bergen International Film Festival[11] Best Norwegian Documentary Won
2011-2012 Royal Television Society[12] Journalism award for Home/British Current Affairs Nominated

HBVA and MeminiEdit

During the making of the film, Deeyah worked with experts, activists and NGOs (Non-Government Organizations) specialising in the field of honour-based violence globally, which led to a shared recognition of the urgent need for online educational resources and campaigning networks dedicated to the issue.

As a result, the making of Banaz: A Love Story led to Deeyah founding two independent initiatives:

  • HBVA (Honour Based Violence Awareness Network), an international digital resource centre working to advance awareness through research, documentation, information and training for professionals who may encounter women, girls and men at risk, building partnerships with experts, activists, and NGOs from around the world.
  • Memini, an online memorial to victims of honour killing. Memini exists to acknowledge the lives and deaths of thousands who are killed in the ongoing massacre of 'honour' killing. "We seek to create a community of remembrance to end the silence, honour the dead and keep their memories alive, collecting and preserving the stories of women like Banaz, as well as celebrating their strength and courage."

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Paul Peachey (24 September 2012). "Still now they follow me": Footage of Banaz Mahmod warning police before her 'honour' killing to be shown for the first time". The Independent. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  2. ^ Tracy McVeigh (22 September 2012). "'They're following me': chilling words of girl who was 'honour killing' victim". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  3. ^ Orestes Kouzof. "Banaz: A Love Story". Archived from the original on 8 September 2012. Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  4. ^ "New Film Tells Brutal Story of Honour Killing in Suburban London". Retrieved 28 September 2012.
  5. ^ David Perilli (2 October 2012). "Banaz: A Love Story". Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  6. ^ "Deeyah Speaks Out". Retrieved 7 October 2012.
  7. ^ "Exposure: Honour killing victim predicts death in video". 31 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  8. ^ GRO ROGNMO (11 March 2014). "Viste film om æresdrap for FN". Retrieved 11 March 2014.
  9. ^ ekropp (27 March 2013). "72nd Annual Peabody Awards: Complete List of Winners". Archived from the original on 18 May 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013.
  10. ^ THE DEADLINE TEAM (14 August 2013). "International Emmy Current Affairs, News Nominees Announced". Retrieved 17 August 2013.
  11. ^ "NORSKE DOKUMENTARVINNERE". 29 October 2013. Retrieved 31 October 2013.
  12. ^ "RTS ANNOUNCES SHORTLIST FOR TELEVISION JOURNALISM AWARDS 2011/2012". Archived from the original on 3 September 2014. Retrieved 1 February 2013.

External linksEdit