Sunday, August 26, 2012

Shirin Neshat: Women Without Men, Take I

Zarin (Orsolya Tóth) at a brothel.

Based on Shahrnush Parsipur's 1989 novella of the same name, Shirin Neshat's Women Without Men / Zanan-e bedun-e mardan (2009) conveys beauty and sorrow through strong visual imagery backed by careful attention to ambient sound. Martin Gschlacht's cinematography is dazzling. Beyond that, Women Without Men delivers a conciousness raising story that focuses on the place of women at a specific moment of historical change: the period of tumult in Iran in 1953 accompanying regime change from Dr. Mohammad Mosaddegh, democratically elected prime minister, to a dictatorship under UK- and US-backed Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavī, the Shah of Iran. Beyond historical events, women are the main concern here, and for good reason. 

Fakhri (played by Arita Shahrzad) in her grove

In Women Without Men, women are expected to act and think according to men's dictates. These women dream of something else, anything ranging from basic sanctuary to freedom of being. This movie is a vivid expression of that dream.

Today's Rune: Breakthrough.


pattinase (abbott) said...

Sounds fabulous. Oh, if I had access to it.

Charles Gramlich said...

If we could only increase everyone's freedoms, but so many do not want us to have them. They want to run our lives, be we women or men. very unfortunate.

the walking man said...

So when you've read every book and seen every movie at the University where to next?