UTSA presents March 8 documentary screening about honor killings in Iraq

movie scene

Scene from documentary "Quest for Honor"

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(March 7, 2011)--The UTSA Honors College, UTSA Women's History Month Organizing Committee and the UTSA Institute for Law and Public Affairs will present a screening of the documentary "Quest for Honor" at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 8 in the Main Building Auditorium (0.106) on the UTSA Main Campus. Free and open to the public, the showing will be followed by a discussion with filmmaker Mary Ann Smothers Bruni.

"Quest for Honor" exposes the alarming rise in "honor killings" in the Kurdistan region of Iraq. Honor killing is the heinous act of men killing daughters, sisters and wives who threaten "family honor." Local Police Chief Abdullah states his frustration on camera that no one is ever convicted. Interviews with victims of attempted honor killings, their perpetrators, the police, government officials and community leaders coupled with the filmed investigations of these killings provide insight into the shocking practice.

The film was written, produced and directed by Mary Ann Smothers Bruni, a first-time filmmaker when "Quest for Honor" made its world premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. Bruni first entered Iraq in April 1991 by walking up a mountain in Turkey and into Iraq, joining more than two million Kurds fleeing from Saddam's gunships. That led to three years in Iraqi Kurdistan and her book and exhibition "Journey through Kurdistan." She also has been featured in The Washington Post, World View and the International Herald-Tribune.

Bruni's earlier writings and photographs center on Texas-Mexican folk arts -- drama, music and poetry -- as seen through the lens of her studies of Medieval and Latin American literature at Mexico City College (now University of the Americas) and as a graduate student at the University of Madrid.

The background for her books and exhibitions is archived at the prestigious Benson Latin American Collection at the University of Texas at Austin Library. Her awards for that work include a "lazo de dama" medal from the Order of Isabel la Catolica, awarded by Juan Carlos, King of Spain. Bruni's books include "Journey through Kurdistan," "Viva la Virgen de Guadalupe," "Rosita's Christmas Wish" and "Los Pastores." Her photographs have been shown in London, Bhutan, Canada and many museums and galleries in the United States.

For more information, contact the UTSA Honors College at 210-458-4106.