Forbidden Lie$

Year: 2007
Production Co: Australian Film Finance Corporation
Director: Anna Broinowski
Producer: Anna Broinowski
Writer: Anna Broinowski
Cast: Norma Khouri
This is one of those movies for which the axiom 'the truth is stranger than fiction' was written for.

You couldn't dream up the story of bestselling author Norma Khouri and her world-beating smash 'Forbidden Love', nor the revelations filmmaker Anna Broinowski dug up about the author after some serious detective work - much of it with Khouri's full consent and assistance.

Yes, it sounds strange that anyone would participate in her own character assassination, but Broinowski's investigation keeps overturning more and more scandals and secrets about Khouri's life - all of them revealed with perfect thriller genre timing - while Khouri keeps her (and us) at arms length of the facts until she can't deny them any more.

The worldwide success of Khouri's book was skewered by a journalist in Sydney, and it's shone a light on a never-ending backstory of a hidden husband and kids, duped former friends and victims of various scams.

Neither Broinowski, Khouri herself nor an army of Hollywood screenwriters could have made this stuff up, and you'll find yourself wondering how far the con goes. Is the movie itself in on it? It makes for such perfect drama it's hard not to believe so, but either way you haven't see a more multi-layered, engrossing detective piece in a long time.

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