8 February 2021
“It wasn’t a mainstream subject and not something many people knew about,” Hawes, 44, says of “Honour,” which chronicles the 2006 murder of a young British-Iraqi Kurdish woman, Banaz Mahmod, by members of her own family, based in southwest London. The 95-minute movie, written by Gwyneth Hughes, makes its US premiere Feb. 16 on streaming service BritBox.
“We thought maybe we’d get 1 million viewers in the best-case scenario,” Hawes says. “We ended up with 7.5 million viewers. People learned so much more about the case. At the end of this journey, people knew about the story and had a greater understanding of these so-called ‘honor-based’ violence and abuse cases.
“You hear of ‘honor killings’; it’s reported on the periphery, but you think it’s one of those things that happens to other people in other communities,” Hawes says. “It’s not something you know very much about — certainly I didn’t.”
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