Customer Review

3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Women in Iran: Three Experiences, 30 Jun 2008
This review is from: The Day I Became A Woman [DVD] (DVD)
The opening sequences of this film are striking.There is no sound but a surreal image of black veiled women cycling fast along a long straight track by the sea. Riding alongside them is a horseman. It is a race, but we are not informed of this until later in the film, so we are left wondering what the meaning can be.
The film is made up of three vignettes, each focusing on a different age of woman and carefully crafted so the final sequence alludes to the earlier scenes. The photography indicates heat, intensity and oppression.
It begins with the innocence of a young girl whose friendship with a boy of her own age is curtailed because at noon she is told she becomes a woman. There is an existential preoccupation with time, which is marked by the little girl's focus on the sun's passage through the sky which casts a shadow on the sand. When there is no shadow, it is noon, and her mother arrives with a black veil.Veiled and watchful, she observes the playful freedom of the boys as they launch a raft onto the sea.
The second tale, begins with the the women's cycle race.The cycles represent freedom and their speed symbolic of their wish to escape the oppression of their lives.The race is a challenge to a patriarchal order and so the horseman who rides alongside and picking out one woman in particular, berates her with increasing aggression that she is dishonouring her husband and her marriage. She continues. He brings an Imam, her father, her grandfather, her brothers, and all are on horseback.She continues.
The final sequence could almost have been a scene from Bunuel, such is its surrealism.An elderly woman arrives at an airport and announces she has been left money, and proceeds to engage a retinue of small boys whose purpose is to carry and push her purchases; a large fridge, an oven, a double bed, kitchen equipment, a bridal outfit, and a glass teapot which she finds offensive on account of its 'nakedness'. All these items are set up on the beach. The scene ends with cameo parts from representatives of the women's cycle race, and the boys and the old woman set sail watched by the little girl from the first scene.
The movie is slow paced and subtle. The director, a woman with a particular take on the world.The film is a gentle representation of her thinking. The final scene is, a veiled [sic] critique of the consumerism of the West, and the conflict that women in particular are faced with, but all three vignettes stand alone as crystallizing the complexities or womens' lives in Iran.
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Showing 1-1 of 1 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 11 Dec 2010 19:23:05 GMT
Gogol says:
I just love the fact that nobody seems to have noticed the little black "Slave children" Running around the beach while gushing praise for this film. Guess little black children being used and exploited as slaves for the whims of this woman wanting to live a second adolescence is of complete irrelevance when you want a bit of feminist hand wringing isnt it?
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