Divorce Iranian Style

1998, 80 min.

Spoken language:

Subtitles: Engels

Festival year: 2011

Iranian women who want to divorce meet with a lot of resistance. Often, judges grant their husbands custody over their children, without any possible recourse. Film maker Kim Longinotto and author Ziba Mir-Hosseini observed three court cases in Tehran.


Jamileh is maltreated by her husband, Maryam struggles to obtain custody over her children, and 16-year-old Ziba asks for a divorce from her 38-year-old husband. Having lost their virginity, they will have to live the rest of their lives on the fringe of society. The judge agrees with arguments like ‘my wife leaves the house without my permission’ and considers that girls can be given in marriage as soon as they have their first menstrual period, ‘even at the age of nine’.
The women highlighted by Longinotto are everything but victims. With humor, flattery, tears, determination and a white lie, they seek to attain their goal, often with success.

British filmmaker Kim Longinotto (London, 1952) strongly feels it is her duty to denounce injustice, treating controversial topics with sensitivity and empathy. Her films show ordinary women engaged in extraordinary efforts to put an end to sex stereotyping.

Divorce Iranian Style is part of the retrospective that the festival dedicates to Longinotto’s work.

Official website: http://www.wmm.com/filmcatalog/pages/c454.shtml



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