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Divorce Iranian Style (Kim Longinotto: Vixen Films Retrospective)


A fly-on-the-wall look at the workings of an Iranian divorce court, this humorous, intimate, moving window into three Iranian women’s lives reveals the skills they employ to navigate marital law.

It follows Jamileh who is beaten by her husband, 16-year-old Ziba who is trying to divorce her 38-year-old husband, and Maryam, desperately fighting for custody of her daughters. Showcasing the resilience, ingenuity and guile they use to confront a biased legal system and an obstructive administrative maze as well as their husbands and families, directors Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini (author of Marriage On Trial: A Study Of Islamic Family Law) turn their cameras on the court and let the story tell itself. Challenging perceptions of Iranian women as passive victims, the film - winner of the Grand Prize for Best Documentary at the San Francisco International Film Festival and the Silver Hugo Award at the Chicago International Film Festival, is a fascinating, subtle look at women’s lives and the country they live in, one that remains a mystery to many.

Also showing as part of the Kim Longinotto: Vixen Films Retrospective: Pride of Place + Theatre Girls, Dream Girls + Shinjuku Boys, Sisters in Law, Pink Saris, Dreamcatcher


  • year. 1998

  • country. UK

  • run-time. 80min

£6.00 (£4.50 conc.)

Doors 6.30PM

Film 7PM

— Time Out
An honest, truthful and most importantly human film... the result is something possibly more honest than the Maysles’s ‘fly-on-the-wall’; it should perhaps simply be called ‘camera-in-the-room’.
— Electric Sheep
That Longinotto and her Iranian co-director Ziba Mir-Hosseini were granted the access to make such films is impressive; that they achieved such moving results is amazing.
— Empire