DocuMemories #8: Sisters in Law
Join us for this year-long retrospective of underappreciated gems from True/False's ten-year history.
The setting is a courthouse, and the heroes are a brilliant, sharp-tongued prosecutor and a tough but fair-minded judge. Although it sounds like the template for a thousand movies and TV shows, Sisters in Law is a wholly distinctive courtroom drama. The action unfolds in a Cameroon town where attorney Vera Ngassa and judge Beatrice Ntuba are nurturing a revolution. Using the law, public opinion and, most of all, their formidable intellects, these legal eagles ensure that victims of rape and domestic abuse receive legal protections -- finally, African women are getting their day in court. Directors Florence Ayisi and Kim Longinotto provide many familiar elements of courtroom drama -- pathos, surprising turns of events, even a slick defense lawyer. But Sisters in Law, an award winner at Cannes 2005, avoids all cliches. This is social-action filmmaking at its most surprising, moving and relevant.