Women's Prison

Crude but fascinating, this harrowing 2002 Iranian film by Manijeh Hekmat uses the dejected inhabitants of a filthy jail—drug addicts, prostitutes, and lesbians—to expose the barely suppressed rage of women in the Islamic state. The putative heroine has been jailed for the murder of her brutal stepfather; three discrete sequences, set in 1984, 1992, and 2000, follow her hesitant attempts to curry favor with the authoritarian male warden, while the other inmates bicker or discover the pleasures of female solidarity. The director almost ended up in prison herself before the Iranian government approved a censored version for public screening. In Farsi with subtitles. 106 min.

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