A married couple are faced with a difficult decision - to improve the life of their child by moving to another country or to stay in Iran and look after a deteriorating parent who has Alzheimer's disease.
Georges and Anne are an octogenarian couple. They are cultivated, retired music teachers. Their daughter, also a musician, lives in Britain with her family. One day, Anne has a stroke, and the couple's bond of love is severely tested.
A brilliant plastic surgeon, haunted by past tragedies, creates a type of synthetic skin that withstands any kind of damage. His guinea pig: a mysterious and volatile woman who holds the key to his obsession.
Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat's first narrative feature which she co-wrote with writer Steven Henry Madoff and Iranian-American screenwriter, producer and director Shoja Azari who also worked as co-director on the film, is based on a short novel by Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur. It premiered In competition at the 66th Venice International Film Festival in 2009, was screened in the Special Presentations section at the 34th Toronto International Film Festival in 2009 and is a Germany-Austria-France co-production which was shot on location in Casablanca, Morocco and produced by producers Philippe Bober, Martin Gschlacht and Susanne Marian. It tells the story about a middle-aged singer named Fakhri who lives in an emotionless marriage, a prostitute named Zarin whom is troubled by her customers changing faces, a young woman named Faezeh who loses her dreams of marriage and her a woman named Munis who strongly objects to her brothers rules during a summer in Theran, Iran 1953.
In 1990, Iranian author Shahrnush Parsipur wrote the magic-realist novel "Women without Men", was arrested during the release of the book and pressured by the Iranian government who banned the book in the mid-1990s and her from continuing to write the way she did. Shirin Neshat's adaptation of a story that entwines the lives of four women is set against the backdrop of the Iranian coup d'état in 1953 where the democratically elected prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh (1882-1967) was overthrown by the British secret intelligence service MI6 and the United States central intelligence agency CIA. This character-driven and narrative-driven feature film debut which is narrated from multiple viewpoints with a fragmented narrative structure, which combines facts and fiction and which is notable for it's adventurous and colorful milieu depictions, sterling production design and costume design, evocatively and unsentimentally depicts the suppression of women in a sex segregated society and a nations protest against an historic governmental change.
Exiled Shirin Neshat who started her artistic work as a photographer is an aesthetic, allegoric and contrasting art film where the realistic and the surreal converges. Her vision of a mid-19th century Iran is emphasized by the symbolic and prominent cinematography by cinematographer Martin Gschlacht and her archetype style of filmmaking is characterized by quiet camera movements, varied atmospheres, distinct female portraits, remote recordings and long takes without dialog. With this profoundly moving directorial debut which contains one of the most brutally expressive though cinematically masterful scenes in modern cinema history and which gained, among other awards, the Silver Lion for Best Director at the 66th Venice Film Festival in 2009, individualistic filmmaker Shirin Neshat who immigrated to the United States at the age of seventeen has hopefully reinforced the opportunities for future Iranian filmmakers who are limited by the fundamentalist Islamic regime. A political character piece and a social comment that leaves loud echoes.
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