Invoking Justice 0+

Deepa Dhanraj, IND 2011, original version / English and Czech subtitles, 90 min
Invoking Justice

In the south Indian state of Tamil Nadu, family disputes are settled by Islamic councils, called Jamaats, which consist exclusively of men. Only men conduct investigations and interrogations while also cooperating with police and civil courts. Women are not even permitted to appear before a Jamaat. Even in cases that directly concern them, women must be represented by a man. In many cases, council members dispense justice according to their needs while invoking Sharia law. This documentary looks at a group of courageous women who in 2004 stood up against this injustice by establishing a female Jamaat. The film follows three cases where determined women resolutely emerge from violent households to confront the pusillanimous and indecisive members of male Jamaats. After being disregarded at the outset, the female Jamaat has travelled a long road to become a respected civic initiative. Despite lingering prejudice and corruption, it now cooperates with families, police, and male Jamaats in the search for justice.


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