Directed by Kim Longinotto + Ziba Mir-Hosseini
Iran / UK 1998, 2001


Divorce Iranian Style: From Kim Longinotto and Ziba Mir-Hosseini comes the first ever footage of a matrimonial court in the heart of Tehran. Divorce Iranian Style challenges accepted notions of Muslim society as feisty women fight for their freedom - and their children. Following one judge's court, this award-winning film is privy to the innermost secrets of Tehran's marriages. Ziba, 16, is desperate to escape from an arranged marriage to a man twice her age while Maryam is fighting her ex-husband, and strict Islamic law, for custody of her children. Presiding over the court, Judge Deldar tries to keep an even hand on the proceedings.

Excerpt from Channel 4 located HERE

DVD Reviews

DVD Review: Second Run - Region 0 - PAL

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Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 0 - PAL
Runtime 1:16:03 + 1:24:54 (4% PAL Speedup) 
Video 1.33:1 / 1.73 Aspect Ratios
Average Bitrate: 5.9 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:  Fighters

Audio Farsi/ English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles English, Arabic (on Interview), None

Release Information:
Studio: Second Run

Aspect Ratio:
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 / 1.73

Edition Details:

• New Interview with Kim Longinotto (12:38)
• 16-page liner booklet with essays by Mark Cousins and co-director Ziba Mir-Hosseini

DVD Release Date: January 26th, 2009

Transparent Keep Case
Chapters: 12 X 2



This is two films on one dual-layered SD-DVD disc.

The image quality belies the lean production roots of both works. Divorce Iranian Style is in 1.33:1 aspect ratio with a fairly hazy image with some minor edge enhancements - most probably not applied at the DVD encode level. Both are progressive.  Although detail is not particularly strong I found both watchable.

I expect they give a modest, if not stellar, representation of the original presentations. Being such rare films - you probably won't see either on DVD looking predominantly stronger than this. Colors improve on Runaway which is anamorphic in-and-about a 1.75 aspect ratio. Both have optional English subtitles offered. Audio is unremarkable stereo but close, I'll wager, to the way it was produced. One should remember that these are unrehearsed documentary films so dialogue can be scattered at times. The images are fairly clean... if hazy and showing artifacts. Runaway is the better looking of the two but I wasn't getting picky about the appearance - realizing these are not monetarily high-level productions.

Supplements include an interesting 12-minute interview with director Kim Longinotto available through the Divorce Iranian Style menu. There are also liner notes with essays by Mark Cousins and co-director Ziba Mir-Hosseini.

I couldn't agree more with Helen O'Hara at HERE who states: "... British director Kim Longinotto has long been travelling the world to bring us inspiring stories of women’s struggles for justice without any heavy-handed agenda — feminist or otherwise. Instead her films are, as these two Iranian examples show, full of humour and pathos, emphasizing what we have in common rather than our differences. The first follows four divorce cases to both hilarious and tragic effect, while Runaway examines the plight of five girls who have escaped from home to Tehran. That Longinotto and her Iranian co-director Ziba Mir-Hosseini were granted the access to make such films is impressive; that they achieved such moving results is amazing."

Despite the meager quality - I not going to attack the dual-layered, progressive transfers. I was captivated throughout - a real social window communicating another culture that I am frequently fascinated with. This is great filmmaking and I'm grateful for Second Run for being the first to bring these films to my home theater on DVD. It's a great time to be alive with the ever expanding Internet and the world continually getting smaller  - hopefully coming together - making our understanding of each other and our diversities all the more imperative.  

Gary W. Tooze


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Screen Captures - Divorce Iranian Style









Screen Captures - Runaway









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Distribution Second Run DVD - Region 2 - PAL


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