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Invoking Justice
A film by Deepa Dhanraj
India, 2011, 85 minutes, Color, DVD, Tamil, Subtitled
Order No. W121082
In Southern India, family disputes are settled by Jamaats—all male bodies which apply Islamic Sharia law to cases without allowing women to be present, even to defend themselves. Recognizing this fundamental inequity, a group of women in 2004 established a women’s Jamaat, which soon became a network of 12,000 members spread over 12 districts. Despite enormous resistance, they have been able to settle more than 8,000 cases to date, ranging from divorce to wife beating to brutal murders and more. Award-winning filmmaker Deepa Dhanraj (SOMETHING LIKE A WAR) follows several cases, shining a light on how the women’s Jamaat has acquired power through both communal education and the leaders’ persistent, tenacious and compassionate investigation of the crimes. In astonishing scenes we watch the Jamaat meetings, where women often shout over each other about the most difficult facets of their personal lives. Above all, the women’s Jamaat exists to hold their male counterparts and local police to account, and to reform a profoundly corrupt system which allows men to take refuge in the most extreme interpretation of the Qur’an to justify violence towards women.



AWARDS, FESTIVALS, & SCREENINGS


Film Southasia, QFX Jury Award

  • Int’l Doc FF Amsterdam (IDFA), International Premiere
  • One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival, Prague
  • Helsinki Documentary Film Festival
  • Asian American International Film Festival
  • San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival
  • Hawaii International Film Festival

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QUOTES

    “An intimate and inspiring portrayal of the collective action of Muslim sisterhood. This is a particularly important film for our times in that it tells a story that runs counter to the dominant stereotypes about Muslim women.”
    Stephen Hughes
    School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London

    ***1/2 stars, "Combining interviews with footage shot in police stations, communities, and private homes, this engaging and thought-provoking documentary is highly recommended.”
    Video Librarian

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    Invoking Justice is included in the following Special Collections.
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SPECIAL COLLECTIONS

WMM offers film collections on a variety of specific subject areas, including the collections MUSLIM: Behind the Veil, BODY IMAGE: Women & Young Girls, and AFRICA IS A WOMAN'S NAME.

Deep discounts are available when you purchase multiple films. More details.



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Women Make Movies is a multicultural, multiracial, non-profit media arts organization which facilitiates the production, promotion, distribution, and exhibition of independent films and videotapes by and about women. contact us