The Hidden Half | Chicago Reader

The Hidden Half

Iranian director Tahmineh Milani (Two Women) was jailed by the Islamic Revolutionary Court for antigovernment remarks made after the release of this feminist melodrama, and while her political conviction is commendable, the film's artifice is oddly reminiscent of Hollywood women's pictures. A judge, sent to Shiraz to hear the testimony of a woman scheduled for execution, receives a letter from his wife to read during his journey, and a series of flashbacks reveals that following the Islamic Revolution she got entangled in campus protest, befriended the woman now under sentence of death, and had an affair with a magazine editor twice her age. Like her predecessors in the 1940s, Milani glamorizes the heroine's determination, noble sacrifices, and clandestine activities, and the film's dialogue and musical cues are as stilted as its flashback structure. 108 min.

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