Sisters in Law

A compassionate state prosecutor and court president dispense wisdom, wisecracks, and justice in fair measure at one small courthouse in Cameroon.

Film Signature Image
Independent Lens, Global Voices
Premiere Date
November 27, 2007
120 minutes
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2005 British Independent Film Awards-Best British Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2005 International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam (IDFA)-Audience Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2005 Cannes International Film Festival-C.I.C.A.E. Award
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2005 Hawaii International Film Festival-Best Documentary
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2008 Peabody Awards-George Foster Peabody Award
  • Director

    Kim Longinotto

    Kim Longinotto’s films have won international acclaim and dozens of premiere awards at festivals worldwide. Highlights include the Amnesty International DOEN Award at IDFA and Best Doc UK Spotlight at Hot Docs for The Day I Will Never Forget; the Grand Prize for Best Documentary San Francisco International Film Festival and Silver Hugo Award at the Show more Chicago International Film Festival for Divorce Iranian Style; Best Documentary at Films de Femmes, Créteil for Dream Girls; and Outstanding Documentary at the San Francisco Gay and Lesbian Film Festival for Shinjuku Boys. Longinotto studied camera and directing at England’s National Film School. In 1986, she co-founded the production company Twentieth Century Vixen with Claire Hunt. Together they made a number of films, including Fireraiser, Eat the Kimono, and Hidden Faces. Show less

    Other ITVS Films

    Florence Ayisi

    Florence Ayisi studied producing and directing at the Northern School of Film and Television 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 Show more at the International Film School Wales, University of Wales, Newport. Show less

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    The Film

    In a small courthouse in Cameroon, two women are working to change a village — and making progress that could change the world. Sisters in Law follows tough-minded state prosecutor Vera Ngassa and Court President Beatrice Ntuba as they help women in their Muslim village find the courage to fight 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.

    Inspiring and uplifting, Sisters In Law presents a strong and positive view of African women — and captures the emerging spirit of courage, hope, and the possibility of change.