Saturday, 17 December 2016

Film Review - Documentary: 'Forced Marriage Cops' (2015)

Fig 1

Channel 4’s documentary, “Forced Marriage Cops” (2015) based in Manchester (but relates to the United Kingdom as well as the rest of the world) gives an insight into the hidden crimes of (mostly) women being forced into marriage by family members, and what the consequences are if they don’t.  A law passed in April 2014 to make forced marriage illegal, and therefore parents/family members who make their daughters/women marry someone they have chosen are eligible for arrest. 

This type of documentary can be classes as The Poetic Mode, but has a narrator scattered throughout the voices of people within the documentary. The tone is serious with sad music, that allows the viewer to understand that what’s going on is not right. There is also use of slightly wobbly camera movement and things being out of focus, and this makes the viewer feel they are inside the film and experiencing what is going on around them. 

Fig 2

There are multiple interviews with police members and victims of forced marriage to show the harsh reality of what goes on behind closed doors in a close-knit Asian community. One officer explains that parents mostly want their daughters to get married as they think they know what’s best for them, how it will benefit the family, the groom’s family, retaining honour and/or having the chance to live in the United Kingdom. 

A girl speaks of her father beating her as she came home late from swimming, and he believed she was seeing a boy.  Parents, more so fathers, can be more violent and even kill their own children to retain their honour. The father wants her to get married to her nephew in Afghanistan, so he can come to England and have a better life. In the documentary, the girl fled to the police as her father threatened to kill her, however, the daughter does not want her father to go to prison. This is mostly because she wouldn’t know what the consequences would be, and this goes for most cases as they are still their parents.  

Fig 3

In the documentary, it urges more people to come forward for help. It shows the charity Karma Nirvana campaigning against forced marriage. 

The documentary ends with the viewer having lingering thoughts about what they have watched, and it is informative it the way it depicts real life situations, arrests, rescues and interviews.  

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