All over the world it's the same, it's the same.
February 3, 2020 9:27 AM   Subscribe

Divorce, Iran Style - Iran Family Court Rooms This link is to a YouTube video of a seventy-five minute documentary inside an Iranian family courthouse.
posted by Meatbomb (5 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Just added this to my Kanopy watchlist yesterday--whoa! Director Kim Longinotto actually left a short note on the film page (visible, I believe, only if you log in, which is possible with a public library card). Her comment from a year ago:
I had wanted to make a film in Iran for ages. I was seeing poetic and beautiful narrative films coming out of Iran, but the documentaries I saw all showed Iranians as fanatics. I realized that that’s all we were seeing, and not the ordinary people. I wanted to show Iran not as just a country of extremists, but a country full of people just like you and me. But I had to find the right subject. After I read a book called “Marriage on Trial,” I knew that I really wanted to make a film with the author Ziba Mir-Hosseini. When I met her, I felt I could trust her, and that’s a very important thing when collaborating on a film with someone. The result is an intimate window into Iranian women’s lives.
Looking forward to watching it; as is reflected in her thoughts, I thought it could be a good accompaniment to some narrative Iranian film I've seen recently. I think I was likely to put it off for a bit--fearing too emotional of an experience--but this a good reminder to delve in. Thanks.

Also of note (and via the Kanopy comments section, which is unusually useful on this documentary), a 2005 film from Longinotto called Sisters in Law [Kanopy | WP], which takes a similarly close and female-focused look at the justice system in a small town in Cameroon where two women are working to reinstate long-forgone convictions for spousal abuse cases. Honestly, all her work sounds incredible and I'm ashamed to have seen exactly none of it--which I will do the work of correcting posthaste.
posted by youarenothere at 12:36 PM on February 3 [4 favorites]

I haven't watched this yet (but plan to!) so I hope it's not threadjacking to point out that if you are interested in this topic, A Separation is a fictional portrayal of an Iranian divorce and currently #113 on the IMDB top 250. As someone who doesn't see much Iranian media it was surprising to see how such a similar movie could have been made about an American family and how many of the conflicts, even ones that are culturally based (cultural clash between poor religious domestic worker and more secular, middle class employer; arguments about how to care for an elderly family member or whether to move for the sake of a child getting a better future) are basically the same even as the details are different.
posted by phoenixy at 5:19 PM on February 3 [1 favorite]

Came here to mention A Separation. It's really good! I'm not surprised Iranian cinema is as "Western" (or appeals to Western audiences) as it is; we've had a substantial influence over Iran and Iran is kind of famous for taking outside influence and reinventing it to the tune of Persian culture.
posted by erattacorrige at 5:41 PM on February 3

This is really interesting. I would love to have more context, though. like what's this bit about bringing 5 elders to her father's house?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 8:11 PM on February 3

(One of my favorite Tom Waits songs. Thank you for quoting.)
posted by rough at 6:34 AM on February 6 [1 favorite]

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