Dying to Divorce
Filmed over five years, this feature takes us into the heart of Turkey’s gender-based violence crisis in an environment of eroding democratic freedoms. Through intimately shot personal stories, the film gives a unique perspective on the struggle to be an independent woman in modern Turkey.
Embedded into the cultural and political particularities of Turkish society, the story is centred on the We Will Stop Femicide campaign, driven in part by a Turkish activist collective that also collaborates in the court cases surrounding victims and survivors of domestic violence.
We meet Ipek Bozkurt, a courageous lawyer, determined to challenge this misogynistic violence by putting abusive men behind bars as she fights to get justice for two survivors of horrific violence – Arzu, married off at 14 to a farmer ten years her senior and Kubra, a successful and glamorous TV presenter. From very different backgrounds, both were lucky to survive the attacks by their partners. Under a Turkish legal system rigged against them at numerous turns, both women face significant obstacles in bringing their attackers to justice, and even in securing custody of their children.
“Turkish marital violence doc reaches for hope” Phuong Le, The Guardian
“Dying to Divorce” aims for a similar balance in its own perspective, finding isolated spots of optimism in its depiction of communal feminist rallies and modest, inevitably compromised legal victories.” Guy Lodge, Variety
Awards and Nominations
Thessaloniki Documentary Festival, Greece, 2021, Amnesty International Award, Winner
British Independent Film Award, 2021, Best Documentary, Nominee
Monte-Carlo TV Festival, Monaco, 2021, Special Jury Prize, Winner, and Golden Nymph (Best Documentary), Nominee
Terraviva Film Festival, Italy, 2021, Best Film Award & Students Jury Best Film Award, Winner
What If ? Women In Film Fest, Switzerland, 2021, Outstanding Story Award, Winner
HotDocs, Canada, 2021 – “Persister” film programme which features work by women about women speaking up and being heard, Official Selection
Movies That Matter, Netherlands, 2021, in Camera Justitia Competition and Grand Jury Prize Competition, WinnerPrix Europa (European Broadcasting Festival), 2021, Prix Europa (Best TV Documentary), Nominee
Rose d’Or (European Brodcasting Union), 2021, Best Documentary, Nominee
(some English subtitles)
2021, 88 min