Fereshteh loses her home and her two sons after her husband's accidental death when Hadj Safdar, her stubborn and powerful father-in-law, forces her to return to her parents. She is faced ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Fereshteh's Brother
Jamshid Hashempur ...
Haj Safdar
Seyd-Ali Hosseini ...
Majid
...
Majid
Niki Karimi ...
Fereshteh
Gohar Kheirandish ...
Zir Madineh
Ahu Kheradmand ...
Farideh
Afarin Obeisi ...
Maryam
Mohamad Reza Sharifinia ...
Hossein
Ladan Tabatabaei ...
Lawyer
Merila Zare'i ...
Taraneh
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Storyline

Fereshteh loses her home and her two sons after her husband's accidental death when Hadj Safdar, her stubborn and powerful father-in-law, forces her to return to her parents. She is faced with the loss of her visitation rights when Hadj plans to send his grandchildren to live in a remote town. With the help of her circle of women friends she tries to take them beyond his reach, but in a patriarchal society it is hard to find a safe haven. Written by Maple-2

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4 April 2003 (Iran)  »

Also Known As:

Die fünfte Reaktion  »

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User Reviews

 
While four of the five friends submit to oppression by their male relatives, the fifth one tries a different approach.
28 November 2008 | by (Cleveland, OH) – See all my reviews

Five women are having lunch together, each a victim of the patriarchal society they live in. Four accept their fate with little more than a whine, while the fifth woman takes on the patriarchal establishment in a desperate fight to keep the custody of her children after the death of her husband. The patriarch in point is the grandfather of the children. After the death of his son, he decrees that the young widow, Fereshteh, should either submit to an almost incestuous marriage to her dead husband's youngest brother, or leave the home she has been living in and return to her parents', while he keeps the children. Fereshteh does not accept the deal and is thrown out of her home and her children are whisked away. However, she fights back by exercising her legal right and taking her children with her on a trip, hoping to find a way to leave the country and the grip of her former father-in-law. Her children want to be with their mother, and she has every moral and perhaps more significantly every legal right to their custody, however, it's the will of the patriarch that reigns supreme. The aptly cast Jamshid Hashempur, who looks every bit as scary and rigid as the inhuman system he personifies, states that "I am the law" and the law bends to his every wish. He does not need a warrant to eavesdrop on Fereshteh's phone conversations or even to jail her friends and abettors. Thanks to his gender, the law enforcement agencies are more than happy to oblige. The fact that Fereshteh is the legal guardian of her children and thus has every right to take them on a trip with her means nothing. At the end of the cat and mouse game, Fereshteh loses. She and the children are captured and she is thrown in jail. Never mind that she has not broken any laws, her guilt is implicit, as is the case with any disobedient woman. And nobody is happy, neither the children, nor the patriarch's youngest son, who for the first time dares to criticize his father over his cruelty. Even the patriarch himself seems to feel a sliver of a remorse for all the pain he has caused. The last scene of the movie is the most powerful: Fereshteh sitting on the floor of her prison cell, with her tear-stained face turned up toward the large shape of her tormentor looming above her head with his index finger raised in threat. However, her ordeal has not been all in vain: she is about to receive a new offer, that if she accepts she can return to her home with her children. While we are left to wonder what this offer would be, we feel that it would be a notch more tolerable than the one she had previously received. The patriarch, while still in full control, is nonetheless compelled to negotiate a new deal, and this is the unsung victory of the feminist movement in Iran.


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