The unbelievable truth of Forbidden Lies – fiction or faction?

Can you believe everything you read? How reliable are narratives? A new Australian documentary Forbidden Lies examines the drama that arose following the disclosure that the 2004 memoir by Norma Khouri, Forbidden Love, was a fabrication. The story tells of a love affair between and Islamic woman and a Christian man – a relationship that led to the woman’s death at the hands of her father in 1997. Dalia, the victim, was purported to be the author’sclosest friend. The publishing world loved it and the book became a world best-seller. 

The film spends the first fifteen minutes retelling the events of the story. The main strength of the film is the involvement of the author herself. Khouri is unfazed by contradictory narratives to her own. At times she seems astonished that there is any fuss about the lies and inconsistencies in her work. When questioned that her book would be better placed in the fiction category, Khouri is adamant that she could never call her book a novel. Eventually she suggests that a compromise could be found in the new category faction – alongside the Dan Brown bestseller The da Vinci Code!

The question remains – should we admire her or despise her for her ability to keep us listening. Find out more on the Forbidden Lies website.

Reference: The unbelievable truth of forbidden lies, Screen Education, Issue 48, p31.

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Filed under Books on Film, Woodleigh Library

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