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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 4 December 2013
"The Patience Stone" (2012 release from Algeria; 102 min.) brings the story of an (unnamed) woman who is tending to her wounded husband, who we later learn was shot when defending his family's honor after being insulted. The husband is markedly older than her. As the film starts to unfold, the woman is starting to spill secrets to her comatose husband about her upbringing and, more importantly, her 10 year marriage to him. Apart from the emotional state of affairs, the woman and her two young daughters are trying to cope with living in a war-torn area (Afghanistan, presumably), where militia regularly search house by house. One day, the woman's house is searched by a commander and a younger soldier. To tell you more of the plot would ruin your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this film is based on the book of the same name by Atiq Rahimi, who adopted his novel for the big screen and also directed this (and beautifully, I may add). There are several aspects of the film that are deeply unsettling, none more so than the submissive role Muslim women are forced to endure in the Muslim world. They didn't ask for it, yet they have no choice. At one point, the wife tells her husband about how her sister, then 12 years old, is sold off by their father in order to settle a lost bet, and nothing can be done about it. When you see the wife going about her business inside the house, and then having to wear a burqua (a loose dress that covers the whole body from head to toe) when going outside, it is unsettling to me. Much of the film takes place in the one room where the wife is tending to her comatose husband, whom she hides from view for fear of retribution from the militia roaming the streets, and in that sense the movie feels like a theatre play brought to the big screen. This is not a complaint, mind you. Last, but certainly not least, the acting performances in this film are top notch throughout, none more so that from the lead, Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani in the role of the wife. This is my first time seeing her on the big screen and I was simply blown away by her performance, which hits all the highs and lows of the emotional spectrum, not to mention that she is graced with an amazing beauty.

Imagine my surprise when this movie showed up unannounced and without any pre-release or hype in September at my local art-house theatre here in Cincinnati. I figured this would not play very long, and hence went to see it right away. The matinee showing I saw this at was quite well attended, somewhat to my (pleasant) surprise. Bottom line: "The Patience Stone" is a stunningly beautiful and moving movie, taking a profound look at the role of women in Muslim society. If you are in the mood for a top-quality foreign movie that is not just miles but GALAXIES away from your standard Hollywood fare, you cannot go wrong with this. "The Patience Stone" is HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
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on 8 March 2014
I agree wholeheartedly with the reviewer above. This film puts many American and British films to shame: it is well written and directed; it is visually stunning and viscerally honest about so much of life in the world today.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 25 February 2015
Atiq Rahimi’s ‘The Patience Stone’ tells the story of an Afghan woman, played by Golshifteh Farahani, in war-torn Kabul. She keeps watch over her comatose husband (Hamid Djavadan). She’s left alone to care for herself and her two daughters, with little money and virtually no family support apart from an aunt.

We learn of a life of torment for the young wife, before and during her marriage, and who is forced to take drastic measures just to survive and continue caring for her husband. Part confessional, part therapeutic, we see the wife talking openly and frankly to her husband about her past. One particular story relating to her wedding is both hilarious and tragic.

Her frustrations turn to anger and hysteria, she becomes more emboldened in her thoughts as she knows this could be her only chance to be so brazenly honest. Ironically, this is the closest the woman comes to a happy relationship with her husband, who has been absent whether he has been with her or not. Its as if she is carrying the hopes of women in Afghanistan, railing against the oppression of men which is symbolised by her husband. His paralysis allows her to blossom, by the end of the film we see a changed woman.

Exquisitely shot by Thierry Arbogast, ’The Patience Stone’ is a wonderful study of a woman under immense restraint. Rahimi takes some big risks, as does Farahani, by breaking social, cultural, sexual and religious taboos in a film full of controversy. Farahani is exceptional, revealing the stress points of her character with tenderness and honesty. Her wonderfully poetic voice, and the way she tells the story, combined with such an expressive face, leaves a lasting impression on you.
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on 12 June 2014
Superb movie, great storyline, the acting was so convincing I was hypnotised for the full length of the film.
Golshifteh Farahani is a marvel and I am looking up all her movies as a must see.
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on 31 July 2014
Smouldering, atmospheric. I can't forget it.
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on 8 February 2015
Beautiful movie, incredible story, very pictorial - each image seems a painting. Don't forget to watch the extra on the dvd on how the movie was made. Very interesting.
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on 11 August 2015
I thought this was an excellent movie, and an eye-opener, but I'm only awarding it 4 stars as I felt the very last scene - the very last few seconds - spoiled it. It could have had a much better ending. Golshifteh Farahani is a wonderful actress.
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on 3 March 2015
Very pleased with purchase. As described. Many thanks
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on 11 March 2015
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on 16 July 2014
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