Buried honour

With another film on honour killings, it is evident that this is where first-time directors are looking to set shop. Read More

Using cinema has a medium to sensitise the audience about social issues is nothing new but how one uses the medium sensibly is what makes or breaks a film. While studying at the hallowed halls of London Film School, Avantika Hari noticed the spate of honour killings for the first time. In an interview to the 'Guardian' in 2008, the director of the film had said that, "The fact I had never come across honour killings before I came to England - and I grew up in Dubai - is quite telling," she says.

Avantika's film is not the first to explore the sensitive subject. Infamous for their ultra conservative outlook towards inter-caste marriages the khap panchayats have caught many directors' imagination and are finding their way on to the silver. Earlier this year, Ajai Sinha made another shoddy attempt to sensitize the audience with his film 'Khap'. The film conforms to all Bollywood clichés and fails miserably by turning into a severely melodramatic story. .

Honour killings still continue with women being buried alive, stoned to death, burnt alive or stabbed. In a survey done in Britain, it was revealed that there are at least 15 such murders every year, with the United Nations reporting 5,000 such cases annually the world over. "We're trying to change the idea that honour killings are all about Islam. Anywhere you have a societal structure with a very strong social fabric where reputation is important in a community is where you find honour killings," Avantika had told the Guardian.

The film set to release next week in India centers on a relatively liberal Asian family in Britain which is grappling with their daughter's affair with a white man. The film has also won the coveted national award for Best Film in English in 2009.