The Ladies' | Chicago Reader

The Ladies'

Video maker Mahnaz Afzali interviews a handful of Iranian women who find refuge in a public lavoratory, and though her visual technique is rudimentary, this absorbing documentary provides a frank, unvarnished look at the obstacles facing her subjects as they try to lead dignified lives in a land of Muslim fundamentalism. Afzali charts a wide cross section of womanhood: the embittered young Sepideh hates God and contemplates suicide after a difficult breakup with her boyfriend; the homeless Leila cares for her newborn child while her husband puts in long hours at a coffee stall; and the Armenian immigrant Janet works as a TV editor but hopes to attend dentistry school. In Farsi with subtitles. 55 min. Also screening: Bahman Kiarostami's The Mourners (2001, 27 min.).

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