The film follows the story of Banaz Mahmod, whose brutal murder at the hands of her own family in 2006 caused a media sensation, and remains one of the most high profile cases of ‘honour’ killing in Britain to date. Through a series of profoundly moving interviews with Banaz’s sister, members of the police unit that dealt with her case and footage of Banaz herself, the film highlights this brave young woman’s terrifying struggle for love.
Mahmod’s family fled as refugees from Sadam Hussein’s violent regime in Iraqi Kurdistan when she was ten years old. At the age of 17 she was married to an Iraqi man who was deeply abusive towards her physically, mentally and sexually. Despite repeated pleas to her family to help her leave the marriage, Banaz Mahmod was told to go home and ‘try harder’ to do her duties as a wife. At around this time, she met and fell in love with Rahmat, a man who loved and respected her, and who aided her pursuit for freedom.
Trapped in constant fear with no way out, Rahmat was her lifeline. But when members of her family followed her and saw Banaz out with Rahmat in public, her father, uncle and cousins concluded that she had brought shame on the family and conspired to end her life. For Banaz, this meant constant surveillance, an attack from her father and a final ordeal lasting over two hours, where she was repeatedly raped, strangled and stamped upon until she died. Her body was eventually found curled up in a suitcase buried in a back garden.