The Hidden Half (2001)
"Nimeh-ye penhan" (original title)

 |  Drama  |  8 March 2002 (Canada)
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An official is sent from his home in Tehran to hear the final appeal of a woman sentenced to death, a political prisoner. The official's wife of nearly 20 years, Fereshteh Samimi, writes ... See full summary »



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Cast overview:
Niki Karimi ...
Mohammad Nikbin ...
Roozbeh Javid
Atila Pesiani ...
Soghra Obeisi
Akbar Moazezi ...
Mr. Rastegar
Afarin Obeisi


An official is sent from his home in Tehran to hear the final appeal of a woman sentenced to death, a political prisoner. The official's wife of nearly 20 years, Fereshteh Samimi, writes him a letter to read when he reaches the hotel - the story of her student days during the revolution of 1978. We see the story in flashbacks as he reads: she leaves her province on scholarship, joins a Communist youth group, avoids arrest, and comes under the sway of a suave older man, Roozbeh Javid, a literary-magazine editor. As she tells her husband about the hidden half of her life, Fereshteh asks that he listen to the woman facing execution, a woman and therefore one of Iran's hidden half. Written by <>

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Release Date:

8 March 2002 (Canada)  »

Also Known As:

Die verborgene Hälfte  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

Through her diary a woman discloses her past to husband and teaches him to listen carefully before judging.
11 November 2001 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

The wife of a senior Judge and mother of their two children learns that he is to travel to remote village to hear death row appeal of woman imprisoned for 20 years since shortly after the Shah was deposed. She writes a long letter/diary & packs it in his suitcase for him to read. This details her past as a communist supporter while first in college, her near arrests for activism, and her first unconsummated love for an older intellectual. Her husband has known her for 16 years only as the kind, gentle and pure woman who was caring for his mother when he returned to Iran 4 years after the revolution.

This film was released in Iran, but shut down after a month. Tahmineh Milani, the director was imprisoned for a while for her descriptions of youthful political activity, the first stirrings of love in young woman. Yet perhaps the most threatening parts of the Hidden Half are depictions of the thuggish behaviors of the religious conservatives, and the ongoing grudges held by some "conservatives" against those who voiced different hopes for Iran after the Shah was deposed.

The director reports that the film has been returned to Tehran movie screens and she now is on parole. She made this film to help people remember what happened in the early days of the revolution, which she believes is necessary before there can be any useful dialogue between moderates and conservatives in contemporary Iran.

The acting is compelling while the story shows the sensitivity and subtlety of the best Iranian cinema. But the central theme in the film, "do not rush to judgment without understanding all sides" is a message for the entire world; a message particularly important for North America today.

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