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Facing Mirrors More at IMDbPro »Aynehaye Rooberoo (original title)

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3 out of 4 people found the following review useful:

Being a woman is hard enough. Being transgendered is harder.

10/10
Author: Red-125 from Upstate New York
19 October 2012

The Iranian film Aynehaye Rooberoo was shown in the United States with the title "Facing Mirrors" (2011). The movie was co-written and directed by Negar Azarbayjani.

As we know, being female in Iran imposes certain cultural and legal restrictions. Rana (Qazal Shakeri) must work as a taxi driver to support herself and her child. (Her husband is in what appears to be a debtor's prison--the victim of a swindle.) Although a woman driving a taxi isn't illegal, it's considered highly dangerous and unsuitable. Rana isn't happy about her profession either, but she does what she has to do.

Adineh (Eddie), played by Shayesteh Irani, is transgendered. He/she can pass as a man, but needs a passport to get out of Iran and into Germany in order to have the surgery that's required. That in itself would not be impossible, but Eddie's family insists that she's a woman, must remain a woman, and must marry her cousin. The plot of the story involves the interaction of the two lead protagonists, and the interaction of each of them with family and society.

This movie is somewhat painful to watch, because both protagonists have such a difficult, uphill struggle with forces that they can't control. They simply cannot meet their difficulties head on, but rather must twist and turn to accomplish their goals. And, of course, the threat of direct, brutal, physical force is always hovering near them.

Just as a warning, I was confused about what was happening for the first ten minutes or so of this film. However, once the situation clarified, I found the movie compelling and riveting. It's definitely worth seeking out and seeing.

We saw this film at the Dryden Theatre, as part of the very impressive ImageOut--the Rochester LGBT Film & Video Festival.

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