This film tells the true story of Betty Mahmoody, a white American woman who marries her Iranian-Muslim husband. The couple live a normal, happy and secular marriage in America, and have a daughter together. However, just after the outbreak of the Iranian revolution, she agrees to visit Iran with her husband, after he tells her he must see his dying mother. After they arrive, he informs her he was lying, and that now they will remain in Iran for good. His personality dramatically changes, and long gone is the gentle, liberal man she once knew. Instead, he regularly beats and abuses her, insists she and their daughter wear the Islamic veil, and forbids her from using the telephone or leaving the house. She states she will not tolerate this, and wishes to leave. He tells her she may leave whenever she wishes, but cannot take their daughter. Betty then embarks on a dangerous plan to escape from Iran with her daughter, knowing that she will face certain death if caught.
The film is very gripping. Both Sally Field and Alfred Molina are exceptionally good in this film, and the historical accuracy is very strong, such as when the Iraqi army begin attacking their city as the Iran-Iraq war breaks out. Some of the scenes can be rather jarring, such as when his relatives sacrifice a still twitching goat during a religious festival, as are some of the domestic violence scenes.
Some have alleged this film is Islamophobic. This is not the case, in fact, a large number of Muslim characters are shown in a very positive light, as they risk their lives to help her escape. All in all, this film is a powerful protrayal of a truly courageous woman's love for her daughter.