Thursday, May 04, 2006

I haven't seen to many movies this year but I got the chance to see a documentary that had peaked my curiosity, Sisters in Law. I was pleasantly surprised to see it showing at the Balboa Theater in San Francisco, with the film's limited release I made a sprint to the movie house.

The film's focus is Prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntub, magistrates in Kumba, Cameroon. We watch these women deal with cases of spousal and child abuse within a traditional patriarchical society.

Two litigants in Sisters in Law

Unlike many documentary films today where the filmmaker makes their presents known with voice-overs and other techniques. The director Kim Longinotto lets the camera roll as we see life in the courtroom and the City of Kumba. We meet the litigants and their struggle to leave their abusive relationships within a culture that accepts this behavior from husbands and divorce is frowned on. We also see the magistrates educate and adjudicate as they work on changing old values.

Watching the film is another vision of how women and children are abused over the world but in response their are women everywhere fighting to change the values within their societies.


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