Linda Stirling Unmasked: The Black Whip

: Dragged from her chariot by a mob of fanatical vigilante Christian monks, the revered astronomer was stripped naked, skinned to her bones with sharp oyster shells, stoned and burned alive as possibly the first executed witch in history. A kind of purge that was apparently big business back then.



Forbidden Lie$

Anna Bronowski
"We are never deceived, we deceive ourselves" Goethe.

Story line:
The film's subject is Norma Khouri, a Jordanian woman who has a perfect American accent that could only have been developed in a non English speaking person under the age of seven.
Khouri found fame and fortune in 2001 with the publication of her book Forbidden Love, said to be a biographical story concerning a Muslim coming of age girl and friend of Norma Khouri who was brutally murdered (stabbed to death) by her family for having a relationship with a Christian man.
A few years later journalists started poking holes in the story, leading the public to question the veracity of the story told.
Forbidden Lie$ covers this statement of fact quickly but thoroughly in the beginning of the documentary, and from there we spend most of our time in the company of Norma Khouri as she tries to convince us that her novel is more than fiction. Thankfully she fails.

Reviewer Comments:
Director Anna Broinowski has found a truly fascinating woman to study. She conducts endless interviews with Khouri as she seeks the truth. As in life, the truth is not so easy to find.
Norma claims she fears for her life, worried about violent backlash over the unsavoury portrait her novel paints of Jordanian Muslims. She refuses to return to Jordan and show us the facts. Broinowski is not deterred however, and slowly puts the pieces together in front of us.

The documentary is done with a great deal of good feeling towards Norma Khouri who continues to spin a deceit upon her viewing/reading audience.

But at the core of this very well done, entertaining documentary is a fundamental ethical question, one that might be lost in the moment as we are taken from one journey to another in search of Truth. To entertain has its limits. To feed off of current prejudice to compose a supposedly true story that takes these erroneous and deleterious ideas to an extreme is immoral. To allow ourselves to be taken into the criminal world of a woman who dumps her children on a single woman of limited resources, emotionally and financially. and justifies her lack of honesty by siting former president G.W. Bush as her moral authority, is reprehensible.

To smile at a job well done by Anna Broinowski without the proper perceptive compromises the appeal of her work.
With that in mind, if you want pure entertainment and know what the film is about, then by all means, enjoy the moment.

Linda Z
WBAI Women Collective

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