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The Day I Became a Woman (2000)

Roozi ke zan shodam (original title)
A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can ... See full summary »


(as Marziyeh Meshkini)


(dialogue) (as Marzieh Meshkini),

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10 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview:
Fatemeh Cherag Akhar ...
Hassan Nebhan ...
Shahr Banou Sisizadeh ...
Ameneh Passand ...
Shabnam Toloui ...
Sirous Kahvarinegad ...
Mahram Zeinal Zadeh ...
Norieh Mahigiran ...
Rival Cyclist
Azizeh Sedighi ...
Badr Iravani ...
Young Boy


A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can no longer play with the boys she had been playing with only the day before because she is now a woman. Told from the perspective of a 9-year-old girl who does not feel like or know what the word "woman" refers to, we see how devastatingly this affects both the girl and the boy with whom she had been friends. The second part is about a young woman who decides to enter a bicycle race against her husband's wishes. As first, the husband and then increasing numbers of men from her village ride beside her on horseback to convince her to return home. The race begins to symbolize a freedom that she desperately wants from the limitations that have been placed on her. Finally, the third part shows us an old woman who has come into some money and is now free to do what she wants. The way she chooses to use this... Written by Jonathan Beebe <jrbeebe@midway.uchicago.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

girl | boy | old woman | iran | birthday | See All (41) »


Comedy | Drama


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Official Sites:



Release Date:

8 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen då jag blev en kvinna  »

Filming Locations:

Box Office


$180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$48,255 (USA) (6 April 2001)


$344,235 (USA) (15 June 2001)

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?


In the first sequence, the lollipop that Hava and Hassan pass between them grows and shrinks in size without regard to the passage of time. See more »

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User Reviews

Camera as innocent child-like spectator in a film with subtle but strong acting
31 May 2001 | by (Durham, NC (USA)) – See all my reviews

I saw "Roozi khe zan shodam" ("The Day I Became a Woman") a few days ago during the Memorial Day holiday. It was a good film with strong, subtle acting and quite interesting camera shots.

In a nutshell, the film is about women in contemporary Iran. It depicts compelling accounts about a girl who has just turned nine and is now therefore considered to be a woman and expected to leave childhood play behind; a woman's bicycle race and the strong objection a husband has to his wife's participation; and an elderly woman who has in earlier life deferred her desires to buy consumer goods and finally has the opportunity to realize her spending dreams.

Without having lived in or even visited Iran, I can't judge the realism of "Roozi khe zan shodam". The camera offers us an innocent, child-like eye, just observing these characters and leaving us to draw our own conclusions. I particularly enjoyed the cinematography of the mass of women cyclists, all clad in black practically head to foot, pedaling away almost entirely in silence except for the rhythmic pedaling noises; and the parallel shots focusing on the legs of the galloping horses, carrying the complaining husband and his cohorts. The pedaling wife Ahoo (Shabnam Tolui) never speaks a word, but her focused and desperate efforts indicate her quest for increased independence. I also enjoyed following the activities of 9-year-old Hava (Fatemeh Cherag Akhar).

I would see "Roozi khe zan shodam" again for its cinematography and the unique (at least for Western audiences) life experiences depicted. It's by no means Hollywood fare or even overtly feminist, but allows the viewer to settle in for a bit of (realistic or stylized?) local color and look at perspectives there of women in three different stages in their lives.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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