Divorce: Iranian Style

Published on 7th May 2017 by

A fascinating 1998 documentary which chronicles the legal battles of three Iranian couples who seek divorce in the Iranian family court system. Divorce in the Islamic world has numerous cultural and legal differences to a divorce in the Western world, with the state run court systems using laws which are heavily influenced by Islamic scripture. The film also shows the disparity in the rights given to men and to women in the Islamic world, usually only a man is permitted to ask for a divorce with the exception of some very specific circumstances.

If a man requests a divorce they must provide financial compensation to the woman, but if a woman requests a divorce they forfeit the right to any financial settlement. The film shows how the family court system in Iran has to negotiate a complex blend of Sharia Law (Islamic religious law) and Secular Law (laws manufactured by the state, man made). The documentary is filmed almost entirely on location in a tiny law court in the Iranian capital of Tehran.

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