The only documentary selected for the 2005 Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes and a selection of the 2005 Toronto International Film Festival, SISTERS IN LAW is the latest film from internationally acclaimed director and festival favorite Kim Longinotto, co-directed by Florence Ayisi. Longinotto’s award-winning films include the 2005 Emmy-nominated film THE DAY I WILL NEVER FORGET, which premiered in the U.S. at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, DIVORCE IRANIAN STYLE, DREAM GIRLS and SHINJUKU BOYS, among others. SISTERS IN LAW is a totally fascinating, often hilarious look at the work of one small courthouse in Cameroon. The tough-minded state prosecutor Vera Ngassa and court president Beatrice Ntuba are helping women in their Muslim village find the courage to fight often-difficult cases of abuse, despite pressures from family and their community to remain silent. With fierce compassion, they dispense wisdom, wisecracks and justice in fair measure—handing down stiff sentences to those convicted. A cross between Judge Judy and The No.1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, SISTERS IN LAW has audiences cheering when justice is served. In signature style, Longinotto’s unobtrusive camera captures an abundance of colorful characters, allowing their powerful stories to unfold effortlessly without need for narration. Both insightful and uplifting, SISTERS IN LAW presents a rare strong and positive view of African women—and captures the emerging spirit of courage, hope and possibility for change.
Kim Longinotto is one of the preeminent documentary filmmakers working today, renowned for creating extraordinary human portraits and tackling controversial topics with sensitivity and compassion. Longinotto's films have won international acclaim and dozens of awards at festivals worldwide.
Florence Ayisi studied producing and directing at the Northern School of Film and Television (NSTV) in Leeds, England. She co-directed the documentary REFLECTIONS, about a black British dancer-choreographer in Cardiff in 2003. She has just completed a short film, MY MOTHER: ISANGE, to mark International Women’s Day 2005. She teaches practice-based research at the International Film School Wales, University of Wales, Newport.