Divorce, Iranian Style

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Hilarious, tragic, stirring, this fly-on-the-wall look at several weeks in an Iranian divorce court provides a unique window into the intimate circumstances of Iranian women's lives. Following Jamileh, whose husband beats her; Ziba, a 16 year old trying to divorce her 38 year old husband; and Maryam, who is desperately fighting to gain custody of her daughters, this deadpan chronicle showcases the strength, ingenuity, and guile with which they confront biased laws, a Kafakaesque administrative system, and their husbands' and families' rage to gain divorces. With the barest of commentary, Longinotto turns her cameras on the court and lets it tell its own story. Dispelling images of Iran as a country of war, hostages, and “fatwas”, and Iranian women as passive victims of a terrible system, this film is a subtle, fascinating look at women’s lives in a country which is little known to most Americans.
OUR COMMENTS
The anonymous style of this documentary helped put it in a very real perspective. Though the legal system is male oriented, I think this film will disprove any stereotypical image of Iranian women being docile pushovers. If there is anyone that I felt sorry for watching this film, it was the judge who would make Judge Judy's daily job seem like a walk in the park.
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