Divorce Iranian Style

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English (subtitled), 76 min, 1997, UK

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 Kafka-esque administrative system, and their husbands' and families' rage to gain divorces.
 
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 the outside world.
 

 
Producer:
Vixen Films
 
Creative Crew
Camera:
Kim Longinotto
Editing:
Barrie Vince
Sound:
Christine Felce
 
Awards and Screenings:

Best Film, Viewpoint International Documentary Film Festival
Flaherty Documentary Award for TV, BAFTA Awards
Silver FIPA, Biarritz International Festival of Audiovisual Programming
Silver Hugo Award for Best Documentary, Chicago International Film Festival
FIPRESCI Award, Yamagata International Film Festival
Grand Prize for Best Documentary, San Francisco Golden Gate Award
Best Feature Film Documentary, Kalamata International Film Festival, Greece
Honorable Mention, Jerusalem Documentary Festival

Also screened at:
International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam
Viennale International Film Festival
Vancouver Film Festival
Marseilles Film Festival
Edinburgh Film Festival
Sheffield Documentary Film Festival