Fascinating documentary at FilmClub in ‘Maritzburg

divorceOver the past decade documentary film has emerged as a popular genre, with non-fiction films often making it onto a general public circuit that is usually only the province of fictional cinema.

FilmClub will be screening Divorce, Iranian Style, directed by the remarkable if insufficiently recognised British documentarian, Kim Longinotto, will be shown at the Tatham Art Gallery in Chief Albert Luthuli Street, Pietermaritzburg at 7 pm on Tuesday, April 12. 

Filmed mostly on location in a tiny, crowded Teheran divorce court, this extraordinarily intimate documentary provides a subtle and perceptive insight into the lives of women in a country stereotypically associated in the West with fanaticism and oppression.

Astute and beautifully observed, it reveals the ingenuity and humour with which Iranian women negotiate the restrictions of their society.

Challenging preconceptions about what life is like for women in Iran, the film follows the cases of three women who are attempting to divorce their husbands.

Assertive, demanding, and persistent to a degree that confounds western assumptions about the oppression of women living under Islam, they challenge the sometimes bewildered judge and by turn use whatever means they can – reason, argument, charm, outrage, pleas for sympathy, patience, and wit – to get what they each need from a legal system biased against them.

Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qs9XSTt-DIE

Speaking of her film, Kim Longinotto, said: “Above all, we wanted to let the women speak, to show how they are strong individuals going through a difficult phase in their lives, and to communicate the pain – and the humour – involved in the break-down of marriage.”

As usual, entry is R35 per person and The Tatham Coffee shop will be offering a soup and bread supper from 6 pm onwards (at a very reasonable R40 per person). Safe parking is available in the government parking lot next to the gallery.    

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