Dying to Divorce
Ipek Bozkurt fights to protect Turkish women against abuse and bring violent perpetrators to justice. As violence against women soars and Turkish society starts to fall apart, Ipek and her clients risk everything for their freedom.
It is 2015. Ipek, a young Turkish lawyer and women’s rights activist, is working late, picking through the details of her latest case. The newsreader Kubra Eken has been left brain damaged by her husband after she asked for a divorce. The number of attacks Ipek is seeing like this is soaring. With a complacent conservative government in power and the country reeling from an attempted coup, Ipek feels it is up to her to try and get justice for survivors.
“Violence cuts across Turkish society”, explains Ipek as she drives to an elite neighbourhood in Istanbul. Stopping the car outside Kubra’s house, Ipek looks poignantly at a TV clip of Kubra on her phone. She braces herself to go into the house. The contrast between Kubra before and after the alleged assault is shocking. Kubra says that her husband hit her over the head. Kubra’s husband completely denies attacking her. With no other witnesses, it is clear this case may prove to be one of the most challenging of Ipek’s career.
Weaving together Ipek’s work with her clients and five years of unprecedented and dramatic changes in Turkey, DYING TO DIVORCE puts viewers at the heart of Turkey’s gender-based violence crisis. Through these intimately shot personal stories, the film gives a unique perspective on a democracy that is close to breaking point.
Director Chloe Fairweather
Chloe Fairweather is a BBC trained documentary filmmaker specializing in social documentaries about sensitive and important stories. She produced and directed the MR ALZHEIMERS AND ME (Grierson Shortlisted, BAFTA, RTS, Broadcast Award-nominated) for CBBC filming from the point of children whose grandparents have dementia. She spent a year in Birmingham in the UK with NHS and Social Services making the BBC 2 series PROTECTING OUR PARENTS (Grierson and RTS nominated). She co-produced and shot BBC 2’s MY CHILD THE RIOTER with BAFTA and Emmy award-winning Director Olly Lambert and PBS Frontline’s PRISON STATE with Emmy and Oscar Award Winning Producer/ Director Dan Edge. Chloe recently completed her first broadcast feature I DO AT 92 for Channel 4’s First Cut strand about older couples who decide to marry.
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