Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 18, 2021 } Playhouse Square

DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE

 

Year: 1998
Country: England
Run Time: 80 minutes

"I think he's mad!" complains the estranged wife, of her glowering husband. " . . . So you have no fundamental disagreement," coolly observes the judge, before ordering her to reconcile. Just one Through-the-Looking-Glass moment in a number of Kafkaesque mini-dramas playing out in a domestic court in Iran, a society where 'Islamic law' allows women few rights and even fewer opportunities to unchain from bad marriages. The judge himself comments privately that the men who come before him are the dregs. But in this patriarchy, a woman finds the system nightmarishly weighted against her in terms of money, child custody, and ever-misplaced legal documents. Yet as cameras roll, several would-be members of the Ex-Wives Club persist in fighting for freedom and justice in scenes that upset the common stereotype of passive Muslim females faceless in their veils. DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE is reminiscent of the features of great Inranian dramatists like Mohsen Makhmalbaf and Rafi Pitts (not to mention "Not Without My Daughter"), but with a stinging edge. This is, after all, cosmopolitan Tehran - imagine what the distant villages are like. And as American states implement 'covenant marriages' and similar measures to force down our own divorce rates, keep these scenes in mind. (In Farsi with English subtitles)

Director
Kimberly Longinotto

Producer
Kim Longinotto, Ziba Mir-Hossein

Cinematography
Zahra Saiedzadeh

Editing
Barrie Vince

Principal Cast
Kim Longinotto studied at England's National Film School andhas made documentaries on the condition of women and gender around the world - most under her production banner 20th Century Vixen.

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