I Am Nojoom, Age 10 and Divorced
When she is only eight years old, Nojoom from Yemen is forced to marry a thirty-year-old man. However, she refuses to behave like a wife. She escapes the tyranny of her husband, and subsequently asks for a divorce.
Yemen has no law that prohibits child marriages, nor a minimum age to get married. Tradition authorises an older man to marry an eight-year-old girl. Partly due to the dowry system girls are a mere commodity. When Nojoom’s older sister is raped, her father is forced to sell his land and cattle to protect the family’s honour. The family moves to the city, but with hardly enough money to survive. To safe costs, Nojoom’s brother is sent to Saudi-Arabia and Nojoom is sold to a farmer, who will marry her. She has no idea what marriage is, and reality turns out to be worse than she expected.
Director Khadija al-Salami based the film on the autobiography of Nujood Ali, the girl who symbolised the absurdness of forced child marriages in Yemen when she walked into a courtroom at the age of ten to ask for a divorce. Al-Salami is one of Yemen’s first female filmmakers.
Yemen, France, United Arab Emirates 2014, 99 min.
Spoken language: Arabic
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