Screened as part of NZIFF 2005
In a courtroom in Kumba, a small town in Southwest Cameroon, old values are being challenged. The miserable exploiters of women and children are unprepared for the rude shocks awaiting them in this rousing new documentary from Kim Longinotto, indefatigable chronicler of the impact of social attitudes on the lives of women (Divorce Iranian Style, The Day I Will Never Forget). The film takes us to work with two women in the Cameroonian Judiciary – Vera Ngassa, the State Prosecutor, and Beatrice Ntuba, the judge in the magistrate’s court – and follows four court cases. The robust examples of these two forthright, funny women have clearly inspired other women in their Muslim community to step forward and challenge the “customary thinking” that husbands are also masters. Not every husband on show is a miscreant and one painful case involves a six-year-old girl who has fled her abusive aunt. Countering views of African decline elsewhere on our programme, Sisters in Law abounds with the courage and hope of people emboldened by education to change.