My friend, Laura, suggested I see the movie, Women without Men, before it closed in Chicago. I did, and have been haunted ever since. It is Shirn Neshat's first feature film...she is better known in the art world. Every scene in the film is beautifully lit and constructed. It has won many awards and well worth the effort to find out where it is playing in your area.
Untitled (Zarin Series), 2005 C-print; 59 x 74" from Gladstone Gallery
Women Without Men (Untitled #1), 2004 C-print; 40 1/2 x 65"/102.9 x 165.1 cm from Gladstone Gallery
"WOMEN WITHOUT MEN, an adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel of the same name, is Iranian artist Shirin Neshat’s first feature length film. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d’état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power. Over the course of several days four disparate women from Iranian society are brought together against the backdrop of political and social turmoil. Fakhri, a middle aged woman trapped in a loveless marriage must contend with her feelings for an old flame who has just returned from America and walked back into her life. Zarin, a young prostitute, tries to escape the devastating realization that she can no longer see the faces of men. Munis, a politically awakened young woman, must resist the seclusion imposed on her by her religiously traditional brother, while her friend Faezeh remains oblivious to the turmoil in the streets and longs only to marry Munis’ domineering brother. As the political turmoil swells in the streets of Tehran, each woman seeks to be liberated from her predicament. Munis becomes an active part of the political struggle by following a young communist who she believes can restore her faith in the world. Fakhri frees herself from the chains of her stagnant marriage by leaving her husband and purchasing a mystical orchard in the outskirts of the city. Faezeh is taken to the orchard by Munis to face her own awakened self after her innocence is stolen, while Zarin attempts to find solace in her newfound communion with the land. But it is only a matter of time before the world outside the walls of the orchard seep into the lives of these four women as their country’s
history takes a tragic turn."
For screenings in your area click HERE and a wonderful interview at the Walker Art Center on You Tube is HERE.