(Zanan bedoone mardan)
Shirin Neshat / D-F-A, 2009
Arabic version / Czech and English subtitles, 99 min
Iran, 1953. Growing leftist tendencies in the country are violently suppressed with the help of Western powers trying to maintain their control over Iranian crude. But the political crisis is merely a backdrop for a mosaic composed of the lives of four women: Fakhri, who is disgusted by her general of a husband; the anorexic prostitute Zarin; Faezeh, who loves Munis’s brother, a fundamentalist who tyrannizes Munis. In screenwriter Shoja Azari’s hands, Shahrnush Parsipur’s novel changes into an intimate tale that debut director Shirin Neshat uses to confront the lives of the four temperamentally and socially distinct heroines. In the tempestuous summer of 1953, the women seek tranquility and shelter for their souls in a vast orchard. This work of magical realism, by a US-based Iranian director internationally renowned for her original photography and video art projects, took a Silver Lion at the 2009 Venice IFF and screened at numerous international festivals.