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The Day I Became a Woman (2000)
"Roozi ke zan shodam" (original title)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  8 March 2001 (France)
7.3
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 1,033 users   Metascore: 84/100
Reviews: 19 user | 46 critic | 24 from Metacritic.com

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 »

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(as Marziyeh Meshkini)

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(dialogue),
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Cast

Cast overview:
Fatemeh Cherag Akhar ...
Hava
Hassan Nebhan ...
Hassan
Shahr Banou Sisizadeh ...
Mother
Ameneh Passand ...
Grandmother
Shabnam Toloui ...
Ahoo
Sirous Kahvarinegad ...
Husband
Mahram Zeinal Zadeh ...
Osmann
Norieh Mahigiran ...
Rival Cyclist
Azizeh Sedighi ...
Hoora
Badr Iravani ...
Young Boy
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Storyline

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) »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

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Language:

Release Date:

8 March 2001 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Dagen då jag blev en kvinna  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Budget:

$180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

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

Gross:

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

Production Co:

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Sound Mix:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

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

 
Artistically beautiful, intelligent and thought provoking
20 July 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Director Marziyeh Meshkini's film "The Day I Became a Woman" is an incredibly intelligent examination of a number of important challenges: the transition from childhood to adulthood, the pain inherent in asserting individual will, and the condition of womanhood. These themes are explored in the stories of three individual women of different generations, and each vignette contains powerful insights about the meaning of femininity, not only in Iranian culture but throughout human society.

I'm also glad this film is out on DVD soon (October 18). This DVD looks like it will be particularly good; it comes with an audio-commentary by Richard Pena and an essay by Shirin Neshat, an amazing Iranian artist and photographer. I found the film's website: thedayibecameawoman.com, and it's worth a look if you want to find out more about this film.

Meshkini's skill as a director highlights beautifully the complexities of such issues; she uses powerful symbolism and even surrealist imagery to give each vignette depth and energy. I am particularly fond of the first, in which we are introduced to a young girl on her 9th birthday. She is informed by her mother and grandmother that after this day, she will become a woman, and must accept all the societal impositions that this entails. Her reaction is not defiance or rebellion, neither is it resigned acceptance. She is a complete human being, and nothing separates her from her present reality.

Meshkini gives the view a great deal to ponder through the entire film, and leaves her viewers with new, fresh ideas and ways of thinking about human society. I whole-heartedly recommend this film to those who do not take for granted the roles and lifestyles assigned by society.


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