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Exploring human rights in 'Till death do us part' - Cloned

Tuesday, June 18, 2024

In the documentary "Till Death Do Us Part", parallel stories explore the difficulties of marriage annulment in the Philippines, which is the last country in the world without divorce. The project received development support from Film & TV Lindholmen 2023. We met the film's creator Samir Arabzadeh and producer Annika Hellström to hear more about the work, challenges and the future.

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Jonas Myrstrand på Studio Jox.

"Till Death Do Us Part"  depicts both two people's struggle to divorce and regain control over their own lives, as well as how the divorce ban affects the country at large. 

Samir Arabzadeh, director, tell us about the documentary film and why you decided to tell this particular story?

- Till Death Do Us Part is about the Philippines and the fact that it is the last country in the world where you can't get divorced. In the film, we follow several characters who struggle to get out of destructive or abandoned marriages. When I moved to the Philippines in 2009, I got together with a Filipina girl. Everything was perfect and I felt like she was the one - I planned to propose to her until I heard from other people that she was actually already married. I was completely shocked and felt betrayed, and then I was afraid that her husband would come looking for me. But she explained that this is how it is here, this is how everyone lives. Because there is no divorce. We continued to be together but I think the fact that she was married possibly caused us to break up because it was so weird to be with someone who is married. I have thought about this ever since and now that I have married here in Sweden, I have thought back to my previous relationship and reflected on how the divorce ban affects and destroys so many people's lives. I feel both fascinated and frustrated by it and want to tell their stories in the hope that it will lead to change.

Received Film & TV Lindholmen's innovation support in 2023

The project was granted Film & TV Lindholmen's development support for innovative actors 2023.  The justification for the granted support was due to the project's innovative potential, among other things to develop a website where Filipinos, anonymously, can share their stories connected to the subject. A website that becomes a gallery where, among other things, AI is used to generate images.