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Divorce Iranian Style

Directed by Kim Longinotto, Ziba Mir-Hosseini


The Marriage Circle

1998, U.K. Under Islamic law, a man can divorce his wife at will, whereas a woman must have her husband's consent—or be able to prove impotence, insanity, or financial instability. Longinotto—a pre-eminent documentarist acclaimed for creating extraordinary human portraits and tackling controversial topics—collaborated with Islamic feminist scholar Mir-Hosseini on this hilarious, tragic and stirring fly-on-the-wall chronicle of six Iranian women’s struggle in Iran’s Family Law courts. With the barest of commentary, the film showcases the strength, ingenuity, and guile with which its subjects confront biased laws, a Kafaka-esque administrative system, and their husbands’ and families’ rage to gain divorces.

“If you imagined that Iranian women, following Islamic teaching, tend to be mute, subservient acolytes to their conjugal lords and masters, you would be wrong. Glowering under their chadors, the women shown petitioning for divorce are angry, discontented, thoroughly modern-sounding wives who don't mince words when describing their unhappy situations.” –Stephen Holden, The New York Times

While You Better Sit Down, The Civilians’ hysterical account of marriage and divorce, plays on the Paramount Mainstage, this program samples cinematic depictions of the comedy—and the awfulness—of marital strife.

Divorce Iranian Style

Divorce Iranian Style

Divorce Iranian Style

October 22 @ 7pm

Bright Family Screening Room at the Paramount Center



$10. $7.50 for Members & Seniors. $5 for Students.



Running Time:

80 minutes

English and Farsi with English subtitles


Color, Digital Video

You Better Sit Down

You Better Sit Down

You Better Sit Down is a hysterical account of marriage and divorce, based on The Civilians artists’ interviews with their sardonic, candid and lovable parents. Four actors—each playing his or her own parents—are conduits of their parents’ stories.

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