Synopsis by Mark Deming
In a small village in the Kurdistan region of Northern Iraq, a woman dressed in Western-style clothes -- jeans and high heels -- is found shot to death by the side of the road, and the preliminary investigation suggests that the victim knew her killers...and that whoever pulled the trigger several times took no chances on the victim surviving. Before long, police have come to suspect that this was an "honor killing," in which a woman is murdered by a relative who believes she's brought shame in some way to the family name. "Honor killings" are still considered acceptable in many parts of the Middle East, and while they may be against the law, police rarely spend much time and energy on such cases. Filmmaker Mary Ann Smothers Bruni uses this murder as a springboard for examining the grim phenomena of "honor killings" in the documentary Quest for Honor, which features interviews with members of Sulaimaniyah's Women's Media and Education Center, police officers who investigate honor killings, family members of honor killing victims (and some suspected killers), and others who have become a part of this grim abuse of justice. Quest for Honor was an official selection at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.