Divorce Iranian Style | Chicago Reader

Divorce Iranian Style

Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini directed this 1998 documentary about divorce in Iran, where a man is free to leave his wife but a woman needs either her husband?s permission or proof that he?s insane or sterile. The film?s image of contemporary Iranian women clashes with Western stereotypes: despite their legal handicaps, the women we see here are angry, aggressive, and resourceful. Longinotto (an English documentarian) and Mir-Hosseini (a divorced Iranian anthropologist based in London) make their feminist bias clear from the outset, and their periodic involvement in the court proceedings adds to the interest. This Iranian-British coproduction is a rare example of a successful documentary in the mode of Frederick Wiseman made outside the United States; it was clearly facilitated by the late-90s liberalization of the Iranian government. 80 min.

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