Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
Actors: Marila Zare'i, Amin Hayayi, Elsa Firouzazar
Director: Tahmineh Milani
Genres: Indie & Art House, Drama
From acclaimed director Tahmineh Milani (Two Women; The Fifth Reaction) comes this searing tale about the struggles of women in modern-day Iran.Poor Sima puts up with her philandering and abusive husband, Ahmad. He is so b... more »
Humanity can prevail
James MacGregor | New York, NY USA | 12/03/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Unwanted Woman" was an accidental and totally captivating find for us. Turns out feminist Iranian movies not only exist, but can be both well made and powerful in their content. Here, a wife gets her macho-pettty-crook-jerk husband out of jail, whereupon he sets off on road trip with girl friend, only wife climbs in car as well. The ensuing mishaps and events are scary and touching and comic in varying proportions. Milani makes unervingly real the way people live their lives when authority is both totalitarian and arbitrary -- and also the ways in which kindness and sympathy survive in such unpromising soil. And she makes very personal the second-class, or worse, status of women in Iranian society. But there's also a real plot here, driven by the slowly developing bond between the two "unwanted" women, wife and girl friend, leading to an unexpected and thoroughly satisfying payback of the creep-husband."
Helloearl | Brooklyn, NY | 03/08/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"When Oprah starts her Middle Eastern DVD Club this wonderful film will be her first selection. If wonderful can be used to describe a work that so simply, yet craftfully, depicts human misery and desperation. Who is the "unwanted woman" when a husband wants to bring another woman into the house? The wife thinks the other woman. The other woman and the husband think the wife. In a cockeyed way, as seen through the eyes of Sima a married Iranian schoolteacher, it's reassuring to know that men are dogs all over the world.
Sima lives in Teheran with 2 young children: her daughter Noma and her husband, Ahmad. Dissatisfied with this arrangement, he laments, "They wedded me a wife when I was 20 and then the child came along. They said a family will tame you. I didn't get tamed!" He is a man who knows what he wants: "I want to wed 4 wives, she can get a divorce if it bothers her." Hearing this, the other woman, a young widow named Saba, scornfully spits out, "Spare me. You can't handle the one you have let alone another three!" And teenaged Saba knows more than a few things about men. She charitably describes her recently deceased husband as "an old dirty, filth bag."
Here women suffer and endure as that vilest of all the creatures that creep along the face of the earth, Homo sapiens, male, performs at least 4 of his most practiced rituals: lying to, cheating on, pimping out, and murdering his wife. An old familiar story perhaps but its twists and turns here are filled with the kind of detail and variation that compel attention and admiration. For example, there is an Arabian Nights or Alice in Wonderland moment when Sima, a devout Muslim, breaks taboo by drinking alcohol and her whole world quite suddenly changes. Yet it is executed so subtly that it can be easily missed or overlooked.
Humor of the WHAT'S UP TIGER LILY variety is provided by the mistranslation of "nephew" for "niece." So when Ahmad asks Sima's help in bringing Saba from her village into the city and advises, "tell them she's your nephew," the resulting dialogue has an Iranian official asking Sima, "What is this woman to you?" and Sima replying, "She's my nephew." Not to say that the film is without humor of its own. After a murderous fugitive is helped by a complete stranger, he helpfully offers her this bit of advice, "Never go out at midnight when you're in a strange town..."
Anyone who's A)seen and been disappointed by such English language DVD duds as PROOF, SEPARATE LIES and BEING JULIA and B)willing to read English subtitles, should give this one a look. With over 5 hours invested in those losers, another hour and a half won't kill you or make you stronger, but it might pleasantly surprise you.