Customer Reviews


6 Reviews
5 star:
 (3)
4 star:
 (1)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:    (0)
1 star:    (0)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living in the shadows
The Circle is an interesting and extremely elusive film. It follows a number of different women who have been punished by the state for crimes of immorality. Intitially the personal stories of these women appear to be unrelated but as the film unfolds we see how they are all entagled in a very large web. Although the film is dealing with the issue of sexual inequality in...
Published on 23 Jun 2002 by Simon Brasch

versus
8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak
Is there any intelligent, reasonably conscious person left in America or Britain that isn't at least vaguely aware that women in fundamentalist Islamic societies are treated, by Western standards, little better than dogs? Well, if you're living in a vacuum, see THE CIRCLE for an education.
The film begins at the birth of a baby girl to the daughter of a...
Published on 14 Mar 2006 by Joseph Haschka


Most Helpful First | Newest First

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Living in the shadows, 23 Jun 2002
By 
Simon Brasch (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Circle [DVD] (DVD)
The Circle is an interesting and extremely elusive film. It follows a number of different women who have been punished by the state for crimes of immorality. Intitially the personal stories of these women appear to be unrelated but as the film unfolds we see how they are all entagled in a very large web. Although the film is dealing with the issue of sexual inequality in a particular society and the price they pay for any form of deviance it is also concerned with individual courage and the resistance against conformity. The women are portrayed through strong characters, making immense sacrifices when necessary, such as abandoning a child to give her a better life.
It is unclear in the film what the 'crimes' of some of the characters are, there is a suggestion of prostitution in some of the cases.
What is fascinating is the external uniformity, all the women cover themselves with black shawls and lose themselves in a mass of black anonimity, these same women crouch behind cars to have a quick cigarette. It leaves you wondering how easy it can be to fall into a state correctional facility and what lies underneath the Black cover.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Euclidean repression, 13 May 2011
By 
technoguy "jack" (Rugby) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: The Circle [DVD] (DVD)
We have a circle of connected women's stories about life in modern Iran,filmed with great audacity and confidence. Iran is a city of intimidating bustle and restless energy,a city of men trading,hawking,playing music,riding motorbikes,swooping in police vans to arrest people.This circle of women struggle against restrictive male power structures that makes their lives a prison,a patriarchal theocracy,designed to marginalize and crush them.Bullied, intimidated,excluded by male chauvinism and at the mercy of arbitrary rules and ID checks,petrified by rigid dress codes,they dart and hide from passing police cars and policemen.At the start we hear the birth of a baby girl from a prison hospital,striking doom in the mother,whose in-laws will abandon her.Three other women leaving prison have to fend for themselves,They don dark chadors at moments of danger,fearing rearrest,Arezou and Nargess run away looking like huge crows.We are given no back stories,we are uncertain about their fates and plans,this compounds their mystery.Their untold lives formalised in a series of incomplete narratives.

We often find out their names when they have to identify themselves to male authorities:Nargess to be sold a bus ticket,Nayereh when she faces arrest.They can enlarge the circle of restrictions through female solidarity.One wife finds her husband has remarried and gets on with wife 2 because she has looked after her kids.Another,Pari, whose husband was executed 4 months before finds an old prison friend who has married into respectability and can't help her with her abortion.She can't get abortion without a man's permission.She has been cast out by her father and brothers onto the streets.A mother abandons her daughter on the street,unable to support her.She is picked up like a prostitute. Banned in Iran,dealing as it does with prostitution,abortion,family violence,the abandonment of children.What makes it riveting,is the way it depicts women as most deprived,living in a big prison,as if each woman could replace another in a circle.Society is the bigger prison they can't escape from.

Society has them within a circle,which will cost them to get beyond and these characters are trying to get out of. Throughout the film women look out at the world through bars, and windows and doors slam shut; they are forbidden to smoke in public places; they fail to complete their journeys to a place of safety.The spirit,strength and courage of this circle of women cannot be extinguished.We pass from one woman to the next as in a relay race, passing the baton on.If one succeeds they all succeed,if one fails they all fail.Finally,a woman placed in apolice van for soliciting,the sum of all the others who get to the dead end,is allowed to light a cigarette,before she is shut in a cell,along with the others we saw earlier,still trying to escape,completing the circle.Panihi's courage and opposition to the government has seen him imprisoned for 6 years,banned from film making for 20 more years, banned from travelling outside Iran.In this film he has given birth to hope through his art.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must-have-seen film, 21 Oct 2007
By 
Anonymus (Berkshire, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Circle [DVD] (DVD)
"Dayereh" - the original title - is an iranian film, which doesn't need trivial propaganda like "Not Without My Daughter" for explaining of the real situation of women in Iran. Panahi tells 5 stories about women, whose lives run in different directions, but which however are somehow connected with each other. These are women in a world without rights and there is no way for self-determination.
Jafar Panahi created a masterpiece, which won the Golden Lion in Venice 2000.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The stories that haunt us, 17 April 2003
By 
P. Hodgson "p_hodgson1" (Malvern UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: The Circle [DVD] (DVD)
A dramatic and often painful portrayal of the existence of women in modern day Iran. A well crafted film with excellent script and cast. It leaves the viewer with the question, do men really treat women this way? The day will come when men will have to pay for this.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


8 of 18 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, 14 Mar 2006
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Circle [DVD] (DVD)
Is there any intelligent, reasonably conscious person left in America or Britain that isn't at least vaguely aware that women in fundamentalist Islamic societies are treated, by Western standards, little better than dogs? Well, if you're living in a vacuum, see THE CIRCLE for an education.
The film begins at the birth of a baby girl to the daughter of a woman who realizes that this will be cause for divorce - her daughter's in-laws were expecting a boy. From that point, the camera follows several other women (played by actresses U.S. audiences have never heard of) around the streets of an ostensibly Iranian city, one's story leading into that of the next. Each is trying to do something without the permission or accompaniment of a man or the proper identification papers, such as journey to another city, have an abortion, or travel alone at night by taxi. This makes them outcasts furtively slinking about their business, subject to arrest and imprisonment. Even chewing gum or smoking in public is cause for rebuke by the authorities. Their plight is contrasted with the relative freedom of the males in their society. For these women, there's no joy, or laughter, or any facet of what would otherwise be considered a normal life outside of the Third World. The message is clear - life is wretched for the unmarried and unsupervised woman.
There's no nudity, profanity or violence in THE CIRCLE. Yet, as I understand it, the film was banned in Iran. It's a bleak presentation, and, I'm afraid, perhaps boring if you're not being shown something you don't already know. But, if you're so inclined out of curiosity about the world around you, give it a look, and then give thanks for your great good fortune for living in the West - especially if you're a feminist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


3 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bleak, 21 Nov 2002
By 
Joseph Haschka (Glendale, CA USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Circle [VHS] (VHS Tape)
Is there any intelligent, reasonably conscious person left in Britain that isn't at least vaguely aware that women in fundamentalist Islamic societies are treated, by Western standards, little better than dogs? Well, if you're living in a vacuum, see THE CIRCLE for an education.
The film begins at the birth of a baby girl to the daughter of a woman who realizes that this will be cause for divorce - her daughter's in-laws were expecting a boy. From that point, the camera follows several other women (played by actresses UK audiences have probably never heard of) around the streets of an ostensibly Iranian city, one's story leading into that of the next. Each is trying to do something without the permission or accompaniment of a man or the proper identification papers, such as journey to another city, have an abortion, or travel alone at night by taxi. This makes them outcasts furtively slinking about their business, subject to arrest and imprisonment. Even chewing gum or smoking in public is cause for rebuke by the authorities. Their plight is contrasted with the relative freedom of the males in their society. For these women, there's no joy, or laughter, or any facet of what would otherwise be considered a normal life outside of the Third World. The message is clear - life is wretched for the unmarried and unsupervised woman.
There's no nudity, profanity or violence in THE CIRCLE. Yet, as I understand it, the film was banned in Iran. It's a bleak presentation, and, I'm afraid, perhaps boring if you're not being shown something you don't already know. But, if you're so inclined out of curiosity about the world around you, give it a look, and then give thanks for your great good fortune for living in the UK - especially if you're a feminist.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

The Circle [DVD]
The Circle [DVD] by Jafar Panahi (DVD - 2002)
4.99
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews