Forbidden Lie$ (Forbidden Lies)

Critics Consensus

A thrilling and complex documentary about an international con-artist that's as confounded with the distinction between truth and lies as its wildly believable (and equally untrustworthy) subject.



Total Count: 33


Audience Score

User Ratings: 2,248
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Movie Info

In 2003 literary trickster Norma Khouri stealthily took readers for a ride with her captivating account of the doomed romance between her best friend Dalia and a Christian military man in Amman, Jordan. According to Khouri's literary fake Forbidden Love (released as Honor Lost stateside), Dalia was killed with impunity by her father when the enraged family patriarch discovered that his daughter was dating outside of the Muslim religion. Though the sham work rapidly established its author as a bold authority on the subject of women in Islamic society, Sydney Morning Herald writer Malcolm Knox punched a devastating hole in Khouri's credibility when he exposed the work as fraudulent a year after Forbidden Love's original publication. Despite an admittance that she did embellish some minor details, Khouri maintains that Dalia was a real person and that she's willing to do whatever it takes to prove it. Now, as Khouri, who claims to be thirty-four year old Catholic Jordanian virgin targeted for death by Islamic fundamentalists, travels back to Jordan in a last-ditch effort to regain her credibility, documentary filmmaker Anna Broinowski attempts to sort fact from fiction by speaking with both the author and her vehemently vocal detractors. ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi


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Critic Reviews for Forbidden Lie$ (Forbidden Lies)

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (11)

  • Even after you've seen Forbidden Lie$, the dizzying, drop-dead fascinating documentary on Norma Khouri, you won't be absolutely sure if she's on the level or a con artist ranked as "one of the best ever." That's how good she is.

    Apr 13, 2009 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Forbidden Lies, a documentary by Anna Broinowski, records, fascinatingly but with far too much slick finesse, Norma's world-class con artistry.

    Apr 13, 2009 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
  • Forbidden Lie$ holds our attention with Khouri's increasingly brazen and unrepentant insistence that she's the only voice of truth in a violent world.

    Apr 9, 2009 | Rating: A- | Full Review…
  • Even as Broinowski exposes Khouri's shameful and pathological abuse of such genuine tragedies, the filmmaker may be giving her subject exactly what she wants.

    Apr 9, 2009
  • Cool-headed, lighthearted and outrageously entertaining, Forbidden Lie$ is documentary-as-striptease.

    Apr 3, 2009 | Rating: 4/5
  • This entertaining, provocative film raises pointed issues about con artists and their sometimes-culpable "victims," and also speaks to the elusive pursuit of documentary truth.

    Apr 1, 2009 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Forbidden Lie$ (Forbidden Lies)

  • Nov 21, 2009
    Really interesting documentary. It seemed to go from bad to worse with this woman and her stories. My end impression of her was that she was slightly crazy.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer

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