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“Honor killing” is when a woman is murdered by either her husband or her family for bringing shame to the family. Allegations of infidelity, infertility, divorce and running away from home are all considered grounds for honor killing. Such murders are rarely reported, and authorities neither investigate nor prosecute honor killings.
In her documentary Against My Will, Turkish-born director Ayfer Ergün reveals the stories of several Pakistani women victimized by this practice. Her film focuses on the Relief Center Dastak and the female refugees who find shelter there. One such woman is Kubra, who flees to the center to escape her husband’s beatings. She is finally persuaded to return home by her family, only to be killed three weeks after her return. At the age of 14, Anita was married off to a man in his seventies. She is recovering from severe burns inflicted upon her by her husband, and has stayed at the center for six months.
Against My Will is a poignant courageous look at the practice of honor killings and also reveals the cruelty and oppression inflicted upon Pakistani women by a highly patriarchal society. Ergün dedicates this film in memory of Kubra. (Lim Sung-min)
Ayfer ErgünAyfer Ergün
Born in Ankara, Turkey in 1964, Ayfer Ergün studied television and film science at the University of Amsterdam. After graduation, she worked at a broadcasting station in the Netherlands until 1998. In addition to continuing to make documentary films, she now works in the audiovisual department of Amnesty International, as a director, producer and editor in chief. Her filmography includes The “Foolish”Mothers of Turkey(1998), a documentary on the mothers searching for their disappeared children and Illegal Dreams (2000), a film about clandestine immigrants in Europe.