Iran Bans Screening of Honor Killing Film Because it "Misrepresents Family Life"

Published October 31st, 2019 - 08:20 GMT
The Paternal House (2012) Directed by Kianoush Ayari
The Paternal House (2012) Directed by Kianoush Ayari

The Iranian film The Paternal House was pulled from Iranian theaters 10 days after its screening following a ban issued by the courts and a call to prosecute those responsible for its license.

This is the second time authorities have stopped the film from screening in cinemas. It was released in 2009 but it took the producers years to get a screening permit and on the first day of its debut in 2014 it was removed.

The film, directed by Iranian director Kianoush Ayari, was shot at a traditional house in Tehran, telling the story of family life ruled by a strict patriarchy. The film confronts the notion of honor crime in Iran, a highly controversial issue in the conservative republic. 

The plot of the film reaches its climax when a woman is killed by her father and brother, who throw her body in the basement, claiming the case as suicide in order to cleanse their family’s shame and bring honor to their name. 

The film exposes the moral and psychological hypocrisy of society in Iran, which caused massive backlash from Iranian political and social groups, leading officials to ban the film.

The official statement accused the film of "insulting the religious beliefs of Iranian society" and "promoting violence against women and questioning the morals and traditions of Iranian society." 

It also said the film is "providing an inverted image of the Iranian family." The Paternal House was subjected to criticism from conservative circles and Iran's Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Hours after the film was screened, Iranian prosecutors ordered the prosecution of anybody who is involved in its licensing.

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