The Mare | Chicago Reader

The Mare

Noted Iranian actress Susan Taslimi plays an impoverished single mother who agees to marry off her 13-year-old daughter to a middle-aged man in return for a mare, which will help her earn an income and provide for her younger children. Director Ali Zhekan paints a stark picture of poverty and patriarchy in rural Iran (the mother stores her rice in a container hidden in a tree; her brother, who brokered the wedding, mercilessly beats the recalcitrant child), but this 1986 film is distinguished mostly by Taslimi's increasingly fiery performance as the mother decides to defend her daughter's freedom. 102 min.

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