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Against My Will

Against My Will

'I wouldn't dream of trusting my family.' - Anita

In Pakistan, many women who decide to leave abusive marriages are signing their own death warrants. They risk being disfigured or murdered by men who believe it is the only way to restore honor to the family.

Authorities in Pakistan rarely respond to reports of honor killing. The Human Rights Commission Pakistan and the Women Action Forum estimate that 1000 women are murdered each year, with little or no response from the government.

At the Dastak women's shelter in Lahore, women accused of tarnishing the family honor find a safe haven. Here, in this tidy building with a well-kept lawn, they live in safety, receiving both counseling and legal advice.

Kubra is one such woman. After enduring repeated beatings, the 28-year-old fled to Dastak. We meet Kubra - armed guard in tow - on her way to a meeting with members of her family. They entreat her to return. Eventually, she agrees. Three weeks later, she is murdered, shot to death in her sleep.

Through Kubra's story, and the stories of other women at Dastak, the film creates a portrait of one institution that is protecting Pakistani women, at least the women who can make it there.

'A heartbreaking documentary about honor killings in Pakistan.' -

'Outspoken and poignant. The film does an excellent job of conveying the horror and humanity of the lives of these women. The combination of footage from the shelter, the legal office and scenes and interviews from Kubra's village and family make AGAINST MY WILL a very powerful statement against 'honor killings.'' - Al Jadid, A Review and Record of Arab Culture and Arts

'Recommended!' - Educational Media Reviews Online


Main credits

Ergün, Ayfer (film director)
Ergün, Ayfer (film producer)
Ergün, Ayfer (interviewer)
Elahi, Asya (interviewer)
Batool, Farida (interviewer)
Shahin, Robina (on-screen participant)
Hassan, Naima (on-screen participant)
Khan, Mehboob Ahmad (on-screen participant)
Mohammad, Ghulam (on-screen participant)
Looze, Jan Willem (editor of moving image work)

Other credits

Camera, Rob Brouwer, Saskya Jol; editor, Jan Willem Looze.

Docuseek2 subjects

Distributor subjects

Criminal Justice
Family Relations
Human Rights
Middle East
South Asia
Women's Studies


Pakistan; femicide; honor; family; killings; murder; women; abuse; Arab; Islam; Islamic; law; Pakistani; documentary; film; video; "Against My Will"; Icarus Films