Sisters in Law

Kim Longinotto (The Day I Will Never Forget, Divorce Iranian Style), working with codirector Florence Ayisi, brings a typically perceptive and compassionate eye to this study of the legal system in Cameroon. Centered around the courthouse in the small southwestern town of Kumba, the film focuses on two women who dispense wit and wisdom in equal measure as they go about their daily business of seeking justice for the women and children who turn to them for help. (Some of the funniest scenes in the film catch the defendants' quaking dread at being called up in front of this formidable duo.) While the details of the cases included in the documentary are often shocking-an abused child; a wife trying to divorce her violent husband; a young woman daring to accuse a man of rape-the film's positive, uplifting approach leaves little doubt that, in the right hands, the law can be a potent force for social change.

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