Pretending to be Mohsen Makhmalbaf making his next movie, Hossain Sabzian enters the home of a well-to-do family in Tehran, promising it a prominent part in his next movie. The actual ... See full summary »
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The whole village knows that Mashti Hassan loves his cow to death. One day he goes to the Tehran. His cow dies. The villagers are afraid of what might happen once Hassan finds out his cow is dead. What will happen when he finds out?
Ten, the latest film by Iranian master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami, focuses on ten conversations between a female driver in Tehran and the passengers in her car. Her exchanges with her young son, a jilted bride, a prostitute, a women on her way to prayer and others, shed light on the lives and emotions of these women whose voices are seldom heard. Written by
To Watch Foreign Films is to Understand that We're All Alike...
The premise is very simple. A beautiful Iranian woman, married to her second husband (in a society that makes divorce nearly impossible for women to obtain) drives her car around town. She takes her son to a swim meet, goes shopping with her sister, gives an old woman a lift to Prayer, etc. The title of the film refers to the fact that there are 10 "chapters" to the film, each representing a different conversation she has with her various passengers on different days. By experiencing these exchanges, the viewer can expect a crash course on middle class life in Iran. Like middle class life anywhere, there are the written rules and conventions that one must obey, and then there are the practicalities, and the REalities. There is what is true, and what people tell themselves is true; what they want, and what they tell themselves they want. As in any society on earth, including this highly controlled, religiously based one, there is the hypocrisy. And we can soon see from the conversations our Driver has with her passengers, that there are also the largely unspoken hopes, fears, needs and insecurities of these people, who often appear to be going through the motions of life, rather than truly living it.
The film mostly focuses on how women view this world; but their perspective is primarily organized around and driven by their relationships with men, be they fathers, boyfriends, husbands or sons. The film is difficult to watch at first, because things quickly escalate into discomfort with the driver's very first passenger, but sticking it out is well worth the investment, as the exchanges each build on the ones that came before it, getting progressively deeper and deeper.
The women in this film are covered from head to foot, but still manage to lay themselves completely bare to us. It's a very simple concept, elevated to an amazing accomplishment. You will learn a great deal about life in Iran, people in general, and possibly yourself. I expect to be thinking about this movie for weeks, if not much much longer.
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