Sentenced to Marriage

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Directed by: Anat Zuria
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Nominated for a Silver Wolf at IDFA, this shocking documentary exposes the Kafkaesque process of divorce for women in Israel where secular law does not exist, and divorce is dealt with according to archaic and fundamentalist orthodox Jewish law. Filmmaker Anat Zuria, maker of the award-winning Purity, gained rare access to the rabbinical courts to follow two women caught in the demoralizing legal labyrinth. Though husbands can live with other women and even withhold child support, wives are forbidden contact with other men. In some cases, these very modern, independent and well-educated women are forced to buy a divorce from their husbands for huge sums. As a result, thousands of Jewish women have lived in limbo indefinitely, both in Israel and in other communities around the world.

Pairing sound recordings of legal sessions with partially obscured video, Zuria creatively subverts restrictions imposed by the courts and creates a powerful narrative.The startling technique makes the anger of a young wife denied divorce for five years all the more piercing, and the calm preparations by lawyers even more unsettling. Reminiscent of Kim Longinotto's groundbreaking DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, SENTENCED TO MARRIAGE reveals a little-known reality that seems utterly unimaginable in contemporary Jewish society.

-Women Make Movies

Subject:Family, Judaism, Human Rights Issues
Director:Anat Zuria
Producers:Amit Breuer
Production company:Zuria Films
Film Distributor:Women Make Movies
External Links:External Link
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