Anna Broinowski's unique documentary about con-artist and author extraordinaire Norma Khouri is a gripping examination of the woman whose best-selling 2003 book "Forbidden Love," about Islamic honor killings in Jordan, was debunked as fiction by Sydney Morning Herald journalist Malcolm Knox. The filmmaker's open access to her subject allows Broinowski to interview Khouri at length, film her taking a lie detector test, and accompany the defamed author to Jordan where Khouri vainly attempts to prove the veracity of her book with an endless stream of lies. Khouri famously postured herself as a Catholic Jordanian virgin during the publicity tour for her book, when she was actually a mother of two, wanted by the FBI for fraud she committed while living with her disreputable ex-husband in Chicago. The film provides a clear-eyed perspective of a charismatic con artist weaving a spell of deception with every word she utters.
Not Rated. 106 mins. (B) (Three Stars)