Women Without Men is a powerful Iranian story

Published on June 21, 2010   ·   No Comments

Rude awakening: trapped by society, Faezah (Pegah Ferydoni) dreams of marriage until realising what the implies
Shirin Neshat, an established artist who works in film and video, was awarded the Best Director Lion at Venice last year for her first feature film.
Adapted from Sahrnoush Parsipour’s novel, it tells the story of four women fighting against repression in Iran during the difficult summer of 1953 when the West, led by Britain, ousted the democratically elected leader Mohammad Mossadegh.
Oil and shipping rights were the motives and, once a tearful Mossadegh was gone, the Shah was imposed upon the nation. Thus fundamentalism eventually gained a foothold.
The women of the title are all trapped within the strict confines of their society. Munis (Shabnam Toloui) commits suicide at the beginning of the film after being tormented about her lack of religious orthodoxy; Zarin (Orsolya Tóth) escapes from a seedy brothel overseen by a harsh madam; Faezah (Pegah Ferydoni) dreams of marriage until realising what that implies; and Fakhri (Arita Shahrzad) flees from marriage to a boorish army officer when a past love returns to her life.
Their stories are told with a mixture of magic realism, Iranian-style, and neo-realist didacticism in a film full of gorgeously composed images (watch the superb sequence in the bathhouse where Zarin tries to wash out the stains of her former life). There’s some fine acting too.
Ang Lee, the head of the Venice jury, said: “This film grabbed my heart.” It will grab that of others too. It is implacably in favour of women without in any way straining for effect.

Read More : http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/film/review-23843824-women-without-men-is-a-powerful-iranian-story.do

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