Women Without Men | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 100 minutes · 2010

Shirin Neshat, best known for her video installations, makes her feature directing debut with this elegant, often moving story of four Iranian women trapped by their circumstances in the turmoil preceding the 1953 coup. Neshat is at her best creating binary comparisons (an arranged marriage is paralleled with rape) and stark oppositions (a striking overhead shot shows prodemocracy demonstrators being pushed back). The oppressive social order is evoked in the dark colors of enclosing home interiors, while a country road stretching into the distance signals freedom. The four women eventually find each other, and a bit of liberty, at an orchard one has bought. As the plot thickens, though, this 2009 film becomes less stylistically consistent. In Persian with subtitles.
Director: Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari
Producer: Shoja Azari and Peter Hermann
Cast: Navíd Akhavan, Mina Azarian, Bijan Daneshmand, Shabnam Toloui, Orsolya Tóth, Rahi Daneshmand, Salma Daneshmand, Pegah Ferydoni, Arita Shahrzad, Tahmoures Tehrani and Essa Zahir

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