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Quest for Honor
US/Iraq, 2009, 63 minutes, Color, DVD, Kurdish, Subtitled
Order No. W121047
A searing and necessary documentary, QUEST FOR HONOR, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was shortlisted for an Academy® Award nomination for Feature Documentary, investigates the still prevalent practice of honor killing in the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq. The alarming rise in the heinous act of men killing daughters, sisters and wives who threaten “family honor,” endangers tens of thousands of women in Iraq, Turkey, Jordan and adjoining countries. The Women’s Media Center of Suleymaniyah, Iraq, has joined forces with Iraq’s Kurdish Regional Government (KRG) to end this practice. The film follows Runak Faranj, a former teacher and tireless activist, as she works with local lawmen, journalists and members of the KRG to solve the murder of a widowed young mother, protect the victim of a safe-house shooting, eradicate honor killing and redefine honor. This is essential viewing for Muslim and Islamic studies, Middle Eastern studies, and human rights courses.


  • Sundance Film Festival, Official Selection
  • Amsterdam Film Festival, Winner, Van Gogh Award
  • Cleveland Intl. Film Festival, Official Selection
  • New Orleans Film Festival, Official Selection
  • Heartland Film Festival, Official Selection
  • New Hampshire Film Festival, Official Selection
  • London Kurdish Film Festival, Official Selection

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    “…underscores the paradox that drives honor killing in Kurdistan. … The film takes up several cases to illustrate the insidious permutations of “honor” in practice.”
    Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
    Director of Film & Media Studies, George Mason University

    “…Bruni makes a point of tying the "uncivilized" custom of honor killing to violence against women worldwide and to domestic violence in the United States. The equation is worthy of contemplation.”
    Marcia G. Yerman
    Huffington Post

    “The documentary Quest For Honor not only penetrates [the] secretive and dangerous complicit male culture existing in Iraqi Kurdistan. But the mostly female crew courageously confronts hostility and death threats as they persist in their investigative mission to save lives. Constituting activist filmmaking at its most exemplary, both on and off camera.”
    Prairie Miller
    News Blaze

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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us