In her documentary Crimes Without Honour, Raymonde Provencher presents the impact that honour crimes have had on four individuals from different countries in Europe.
An honour crime can be described as a way for a family member to bring honour back to the family by ‘punishing’ the person who brought dishonour or shame. If violence is not the answer for regaining the honour that was lost, it is possible for the family to refuse a person back into the family. In some cases this can be an opportunity for the person who is said to have brought dishonour to start a new life.
Necla Kelek, Sara, Aruna Papp and Arkan all elaborate on their lives and the struggles they faced with their families. Kelek and Sara both have similar stories having had difficulties with their fathers and brothers for dishonoring their families for being seen in public with a man not from their own culture. They ended up both leaving their countries and changing their names in order to better protect themselves. Kelek, now devotes her time to ensuring that if anyone who has left their families or were asked to do so as a result of dishonour, desire to return, that it will be to a safe environment. Kelek makes a difference by getting in touch with the families and making them understand how mistakes are meant to happen sometimes in life and that killing or beating is not the answer.
Furthermore, in the documentary we get a glimpse of their new lives and how they are coping with being separated from their families. The story of Aruna Papp, now a social worker in Toronto, takes a look at the situation she faced while living in India. Her husband was beating Papp, and she felt that she needed to divorce her husband. Her family, however, felt like the beatings were deserved and were not supportive.
The last character, Arkan, is a young Iraqi Kurd in Switzerland who wrote a book about his personal experiences with dishonoring his family. Arkan brought shame to his family by simply telling his father that he did not want to marry his cousin and by doing so he gave his father a heart attack. He finally gave in and decided to marry his cousin only to change his mind later on.
All four of these individuals are truly an inspiration to those who aspire not only for a life of freedom, but one without constant fear of being judged for bringing shame or dishonour to the family.
For the most part the goal here is to educate not only the young generation, but those who are willing to listen and make a difference in the world.
This ‘dishonour,’ as it is shown in the documentary, can take various forms: dating someone of a different culture, the refusal to take part in an arranged marriage or even wanting to divorce. Crimes Without Honour explains brilliantly a sensitive issue that is holds significance in many countries across the world. The work of the director Raymonde Provencher succeeds in giving importance to an issue that needs attention in order to enhance the chances of reducing such crimes.
This documentary is now playing at the AMC theatre and at the EXCENTRIS.
Watch the trailer: