Murdered By My Father (BBC1, 10.45pm)
A hard-hitting factual-based drama with a devastating finale, Murdered By My Father presents a story about the power and the limits of love in communities where “honour” means everything.
With 12,000 "honour-based" crimes reported in the UK since 2010 (according to the Iranian & Kurdish Women’s Rights Organisation) and an estimated 60 murders committed in the past five years (United Nations report) “honour” violence continues to occur across various cultures and communities in the UK. Based on testimonies of a range of individuals as well as charities set up to deal with the problem, this contemporary film explores how family love and duty can be turned to violence and murder in a British home.
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The plot involves widowed father, Shahzad (Adeel Akhtar) who has been trying to keep his two children on track, but Salma (Kiran Sonia Sawar) is growing up quickly. To fulfil a promise he made his wife, and what he considers his duty as a single dad, Shahzad wants to make sure his daughter is set up with the right man to marry.
But as Salma’s planned engagement to Haroon (Salman Akhtar) approaches, unbeknown to her father and younger brother she becomes increasingly involved in a whirlwind romance with charismatic Imi (Mawaan Rizwan), who urges Salma to leave her family roots and marriage arrangements to embrace a new life together.
Salma knows Imi is not what her dad is expecting and soon finds herself caught in a tense conflict between two generations with differing values. Struggling to control her burgeoning teenage wish for freedom, Shahzad is confronted by Haroon and driven to despair, believing Salma’s actions have caused irreparable damage to his family’s reputation – their "honour". The bonds that unite father and daughter are shattered, leading to a startling climax and more than one tragic ending in this heart-breaking story.
BBC3 previously tackled domestic abuse in Murdered By My Boyfriend and won a Royal Television Society Award for Best Single Drama and a Best Actress Bafta for Georgina Campbell. Murdered By My Father was shown first by the BBC3 online service and a blog post by BBC development producer Marco Crivellari said: "We turned to the experts - the psychologists who deal with the consequences of honour-based violence; the police who pursue the culprits, and the charities that help the victims. In IKWRO, the Iranian Kurdish Women's Rights Organisation, and Karma Nirvana, we found patient, supportive and attentive guides into the world of honour-based violence. They provided us with case studies, and put us in contact with women who had themselves been victims of violence, or friends of girls who died at the hands of their own family."
Writer Vinay Patel was able to draw on these findings in the script, which is not based on one particular case. "It was not a drama based on a real story, it was a drama about honour killing as it happens, and continues to happen, in the real world,” says Crivellari.
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