British Universities Film & Video Council

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Breaking the Yard

Synopsis
A documentary following the court hearings and troubled affairs of a quarrelsome young couple, a stay-at-home farmer and his police constable, town-savvy wife. They claim to be still in love. But when the husband confesses to adultery - ‘breaking-the-yard’ in Tswana terms - and the wife decides to fight for her rights in court battles, in a way once not allowed to young women, their marriage broker and senior relative finds himself very awkwardly placed. Even with his own bishop, he struggles to reach a good resolution. This remains uncertain, as arguments in the village’s customary court turn from the adultery issue. The primary question is: has care for the couple duly been fulfilled by this elder and others? Questions are raised, also, about the competence of the court itself, the obligations under parental law, and the direction of customary law as living law, following shifts in the accepted definition of adultery and due process. The approach through documentary film affords a close entry into the processes of litigation from family moot to village court, and the prospects for appeal in the hierarchy to involve a magistrate, and possibly others in the judicial bureaucracy.
Tswana with English subtitles.
Language
English
Country
Great Britain
Year of production
2018
Subjects
Anthropology
Keywords
Botswana; law; marriage; gender differences; Love

Credits

Director
Richard Werbner

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 0 PAL
Price
£20.00
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
21 minutes
Year
2019

Distributor

Name

Royal Anthropological Institute

Contact
Susanne Hammacher (Film Officer)
Email
film@therai.org.uk
Web
https://www.therai.org.uk/film/film-sales External site opens in new window
Phone
020 7387 0455
Fax
020 7388 8817
Address
50 Fitzroy Street
London
W1T 5BT
Notes
The Institute sells more than 250 anthropology and ethnology titles on video and DVD, including some produced by students and staff of the Granada Centre for Visual Anthropology. There is also a large library of internationally produced film and video productions from which items may be borrowed within the UK.

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