On Friday the 28th February Kulwinder Kainth was invited to attend the screening of the remarkably film named, ‘Honour Killing’. The screening was packed with celebrities from the Media such as Channi from Alaap, Avtar Bhogal the director and actors such as Majid Hussain.
I had the pleasure of sitting next to Avtar Bhogal himself during the screening. The film was very gripping throughout. The film is set in West London although we cross to parts in India and Pakistan it has actors from Bollywood- Prem Chopra and Gulshan Grover, Lollywood- Javid Sheikh, this already set a positive impact by having a mixture of actors appearing on the silver screen and coming together to address the global issue of ‘honour killing’.
The gripping and thought-provoking film sheds light on the barbaric practice of murder in the name of protecting family honour, which has seen an alarming rise in cases across the UK and parts of the Western world over recent years. Honour Killing is a topic in which many filmmakers have avoided; it defiantly is a problematic topic which has been going on for decades. I am very grateful to Avtar Bhogal for taking a step by creating a film on the topic of Honour.
The film is certified as a 12 however I think it should be 15 due to some scenes. The film unravels with three best friends from different backgrounds Pakistani, Punjabi and a English man, however the film later unfolds and we begin to see a love story emerge between the off springs of the Punjabi and Pakistani friends, this alienates and causes enmity between the two.
We are shown the troubles the young couple Samira and Sandeep face, what their families think and so on. Do the couple marry each other? Do the parents come around the religion?
To find out do visit the cinemas! I highly recommended everyone to go and watch this eye opening of a film, a topic which should be spoken about loudly in the community. After all, if two people are happy in love, why does religion have to come in between? When will this ever end?!
Renowned international Indian film actor Gulshan Grover and Pakistani acting legend Jawed Sheikh, all of whom were keen to demonstrate their unreserved support in highlighting the global issue of ‘honour’ killings to audiences around the world.
Honour crimes are acts of violence, usually murder, committed by family members against female family members, who are perceived to have brought dishonour upon the family. A woman can be targeted by individuals within her family for a variety of reasons, including: refusing to enter into an arranged marriage; being the victim of a sexual assault; seeking a divorce, even from a violent or abusive husband; or allegedly committing adultery. The mere perception that a woman has behaved in a way that ‘dishonours’ her family is sufficient to trigger an attack on her life
Avtar Bhogal:“Research has shown that victims often feel government authorities have done little to help. Through the film, I would like to forward a humble request to our society to wake up and realise that we need to be involved rather than be safe on the grounds of cultural sensibilities. No doubt the issue of honour is important but does it justify the killing of a human being solely for the purpose of honour?”
‘Honour Killing’ is a film which will open debate, invoke reaction and hopefully coerce governments to take steps to prevent such depraved acts of violence and injustice from continuing to occur, not only overseas but domestically in the UK.
Storyline: A strong friendship exists between a Pakistani, Punjabi and Englishman, along of whom possess their individual, staunch belief systems. During regular but minor altercations between the Pakistani and Punjabi, it is the Englishman that pacifies and reunites both. However, when the Pakistani’s daughter and Punjabi’s son fall in love, a bitter enmity alienates the two friends and their families further. As reconciliation between the two factions becomes increasingly impossible, the Englishman advocates the young couple elope and marry. As a result, tragic consequences send shockwaves through the entire community and wider society.
Nonetheless, during the intermission I caught up with one of the actors Majid Hussain, who plays an antagonist.
Kulwinder: Hey how you feeling during the screening of your first film Honour Killing?
Majid:Yeah, it’s great!
Kulwinder: The topic is very different, it is enlightening, an eye opener and makes you think about so much.
Majid:It defiantly is a different film; it is about a happening issue, it’s not the glamour film that we are so used to seeing. I have really enjoyed working on it.
Kulwinder: So tell me how were you approached?
Majid:Well I live in Slough, and it was filmed in the Berkshire area. I was modelling at the time and the model and acting industry are very close. So I was told that there was the film shooting happening and I went along to see what film it was. Once I reached I got approached by the director Avtar himself and asked if I could do some scenes with him. Initially he wanted me to play a bigger part, however due to time constraints and commitments I could only play a short part. It was awesome getting a role on the spot, without having to audition and I’ve always had a passion for acting however I never had the opportunity until Honour Killing.
Kulwinder: So tell me about the character you play?
Majid: Well my character is an antagonist to begin with; I bully Sandeep who has just come from India since he is a new student at college, however my character changes.
Kulwinder: So how was the experience of acting?
Majid:The experience was good I used to act in school and was part of Oliver in where I played a negative role. Acting for me is something which comes naturally so I’m not nervous maybe that’s because when modelling you are on the camera.
Kulwinder: So how was it work with the director Avtar Bhogal?
Majid:Brilliant, he is positive he makes you feel very comfortable; we were a big family on set. He didn’t interrupt the scenes; he would let me shoot my scene and was always content with the outcome. You would think working alongside Tom Alter, Javid Sheikh would be hard but they really helped and made me feel comfortable. Even the choreographer was great he was the same one for the film Slumdog Millionaire. Grateful to Avtar for giving me an opportunity and letting me be on the silver screen.
Kulwinder: It is obvious that the film was shot few years ago.
Majid: Yes that’s right, it was filmed 5/6 years ago. Its taken time to release due to the censorship, it’s struggled a lot due to the topic being controversial. I just would like everyone to go and watch this film which has gone through a lot of waiting etc to be released. It is a subject which has been visualised on the silver screen and hopefully this will be a film which leaves people thinking when walking out of the cinema. Please go and support it, it is showing in 11 cinemas across the country.
Written and interviewed by Kulwinder Kaur Kainth