SOAS University of London

Centre of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law

Documentary Film

The 35 min documentary film - 'Love Snatched' addresses the practice of the abduction of women and girls from the UK to various countries in South Asia for the purpose of forced marriage, one manifestation of 'honour crimes'. The documentary was commissioned as part of the CIMEL/INTERIGHTS Project on 'Honour Crimes'.

The documentary is directed by Gita Sahgal, a film maker and writer, whose previous credits include the Channel 4 documentaries, 'The Provoked Wife' (about women who kill their husbands because of domestic violence) and 'The War Crimes File' (about the Bangladesh war of 1971), the latter of which won a Royal Television Society Award. Gita Sahgal has also written on multiculturalism and religious fundamentalism, and is the co-editor of Refusing Holy Orders, Women and Fundamentalism in Britain (Virago, 1992; WLUML, 2001).

The film is focused around three cases. In one case, the woman concerned was compelled to undergo a forced marriage in Pakistan before escaping back to the UK. In the other two, the women were able to obtain assistance, either through diplomatic channels (in Pakistan) or through the courts (in Bangladesh), to effect their return. Through these individual stories, the film gives us a picture of how women and girls are forced into marriage and sometimes abducted to this end, and the nature of intervention needed, whether by state agencies or NGOs, to combat this practice. For example, the police and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office talk about how their policies on addressing forced marriage have changed and how they now recognise the problem. The film also shows some examples of good practice by engaged lawyers or persistent activists, and indicates how more systematically integrated efforts by them and government agencies such as the police, social services and consular officials are needed to combat the practice. It clearly situates forced marriage as a violation of fundamental human rights and questions how 'multi-culturalist' policies have served to negate such an understanding and to accommodate such practices in the guise of maintaining 'cultural sensitivity'.

To obtain a copy of the film, please contact:

Faction Films, 26 Shacklewell Lane, London E8 2EZ, United Kingdom, Tel. +44 20 7690 4446, Email:

Price £75.00 / £35.00 (NGOs)