Mississauga Filmmaker’s Movie is Now on Netflix


Published July 23, 2019 at 8:28 pm


If you ever had any doubts that Mississauga’s got talent–and a lot of it–those doubts likely vanished in the wake of high profile news stories about local talent scoring huge rules in both Netflix and Marvel projects.

While the city boasts talented performers, it’s also home to a talented filmmaker who is doing her part to explore the fight against triple-talaq or triple-divorce, a sharia practice that allows Muslim men to divorce their wives by simply saying the word ‘divorce’ three times in a row.

3 Seconds Divorce, a full-length documentary film created by Mississauga director Shazia Javed that explores the movement that led to a ban on instant oral divorce in India, is now streaming on Netflix. 

According to the film’s official website, Javed is an award-winning media producer and director, community artist, and founder at LifeSketch Media Inc. 

Javed, who has an MFA from York University, has directed with the National Film Board of Canada and her work has been screened at a number of well-known film festivals, including Hot Docs, DOXA, Durban International Film Festival, Mumbai International Film Festival and Reelworld. 

3 Seconds Divorce, which follows one woman on her journey to reclaim her rights in India in the wake of an abrupt divorce invoked in anger, won the audience choice award at the Reelworld Film Festival in 2018. 

The enlightening–and at times devastating–documentary chronicles the struggles of Lubna, a woman whose husband divorced her during an argument over his reported indifference to their son’s health. After the divorce, he threw her out of the house, along with their young son. 

As part and parcel of the recognized sharia practice of triple or oral divorce, the divorce was legal and recognized by both faith leaders and India’s civil courts. 

In order to return to her husband, Lubna was told she would have to undergo halala–a tradition that requires the divorced woman to marry another man, ‘consummate the marriage’ and have him divorce her so she can remarry her original husband. 

The documentary also touches on the law’s detrimental impact on men, briefly focusing on one man’s story about a triple divorce invoked in anger. Despite his regret, he wasn’t allowed to take it back unless his former spouse underwent halala. 

3 Seconds Divorce follows Lubna as she finds her way into Bharatiya Muslim Mahila Andolan, an Indian Muslim women’s group advocating for a legal ban on triple divorce. 

The group, however, faces extreme resistance from faith leaders who accuse the Muslim women of pandering to the agenda of right-wing Hindu organizations. 

Lacking resources and support, the women continue to advocate for themselves and celebrate some small victories along the way. 

The film, which the website says was shot over three years, allows the viewer to witness Lubna’s struggles. The documentary also shows us something we don’t see often enough–the resistance to oppressive religious rule and strength of those risking everything to make life a little better (and a little safer) for those who lack power.

What’s even better? The film shows that persistence does indeed pay off. India made triple divorce a criminal offence in 2018

Will you be checking out the documentary?

Cover photo courtesy of Shazia Javed’s official Facebook page

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