Sisters in Law

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English (subtitled), 104 min, 2005, UK/Cameroon

In the little town of Kumba, Cameroon, there have been no convictions in spousal abuse cases for 17 years. But two women determined to change their community are making progress that could change their country. This fascinating, often hilarious documentary follows the work of State Prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba as they help women fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and their community to remain silent. Six-year-old Manka is covered in scars and has run away from an abusive aunt, Amina is seeking a divorce to put an end to brutal beatings by her husband, the pre-teen Sonita has daringly accused her neighbour of rape.
 
With fierce compassion, the two feisty and progressive-minded women dispense wisdom, wisecracks and justice in fair measure, handing down stiff sentences to those convicted. A cross between 'Judge Judy' and 'The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency', 'Sisters in Law' has audiences cheering when justice is served.

 
Producer:
Vixen Films
 
Creative Crew
Camera:
Kim Longinotto
Editing:
Ollie Huddleston
Sound:
Mary Milton
Music:
D'Gary
Actors:
Beatrice Ntuba, Vera Ngassa
 
Awards and Screenings:

Peabody Award
Prix Art et Essai, Cannes Film Festival
Special Mention Europa Cinemas, Cannes Film Festival
Audience Award, International Documentary and Film Festival, Amsterdam
Best Doc Nominee, British Independent Film Awards
Adrienne Shelly Award, Women’s Film Critics Circle
Best Single Doc, The Royal TV Programme Awards
Best Documentary, Hawaii International Film Festival
Audience Award, Royal Anthropological Institute Film Festival
Social Justice Award, Santa Barbara Film Festival
Basil Wright Award, RAI Film Festival, Oxford
Best Doc on Contemporary Issue, Grierson Award, UK
Silver Award, Al-Jazeera TV Festival
1st Maysles Award, Belfast Film Festival
Best International Film, The Tel-Aviv Intl Documentary Film Festival
Jury Prize, Human Rights Nights Film Festival, Italy
Audience Award, Commonwealth Film Festival
Special Documentary Prize, Munich Documentary Film Festival
"Pobreza Zero" Prize, 4th Lisbon International Doc Film Festival
Best Documentary, Batumi Int’l Film Festival
Special Jury Mention, DOCUSUR
Runner-Up, 2008 PBS Independent Lens Audience Award

Selected Screenings:
Toronto International Film Festival
Telluride Film Festival
Bahamas International Film Festival
Denver International Film Festival
Hamptons International Film Festival
Montreal International Festival of New Cinema
Puerto Vallarta Film Festival
St. Louis International Film Festival
Virginia Film Festival
Broadcast on Emmy Award®-winning PBS series, Independent Lens