Hamoon | Chicago Reader

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Once voted the greatest Iranian film by that nation's critics, Dariush Mehrjui's 1990 drama about a disintegrating marriage gives equal measure to the husband's and wife's perspectives. The wife (Bita Farrahi), an artist whose offhand paintings sell out at her opening, wants to divorce her husband, but under Islamic law she needs his consent. The husband (Khosro Shakibai), a pigheaded, self-destructive loser with philosophical pretensions, keeps insisting that he loves his wife (his unpredictability is appropriately mirrored in the chaotic traffic patterns of a chase scene). Mehrjui refuses to judge either of them, and despite the wife's visits to a psychiatrist he avoids trite explanations; by treating the couple's emotional states as irreducible facts, he makes his characters all the more powerful. In Farsi with subtitles. 120 min.

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