Two Women | Chicago Reader

Two Women

96 minutes 1999

Iranian director Tahmineh Milani waited seven years for government censors to approve her script for this moving 1999 indictment of traditional attitudes toward women. Fereshteh (Niki Karimi) is an excellent student in Tehran, but her father unfairly blames her for an incident involving a stalker. He forces her to return to her hometown and pressures her to marry a man who embraces the old codes of behavior—she must stay at home and has to hide her books from him—while old college friend Roya leads a relatively free life in Tehran. Gradually Fereshteh's husband, her father, and even her stalker start to resemble each other—unfeeling monsters who refuse to treat her as a human being. This schematization gives the film the strength of a feminist cri de coeur, and while Milani lacks an overall cinematic vision, she skillfully uses composition and camera movement to underline emotions in each scene. In Persian with subtitles.

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