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The Day I Became a Woman (2000)

Roozi ke zan shodam (original title)
A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can ... See full summary »


Marzieh Makhmalbaf (as Marziyeh Meshkini)


Marzieh Makhmalbaf (dialogue) (as Marzieh Meshkini), Mohsen Makhmalbaf
11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »




Cast overview:
Fatemeh Cherag Akhar Fatemeh Cherag Akhar ... Hava
Hassan Nebhan Hassan Nebhan ... Hassan
Shahr Banou Sisizadeh Shahr Banou Sisizadeh ... Mother
Ameneh Passand Ameneh Passand ... Grandmother
Shabnam Toloui Shabnam Toloui ... Ahoo
Sirous Kahvarinegad ... Husband
Moharram Zaynalzadeh Moharram Zaynalzadeh ... Osmann (as Mahram Zeinal Zadeh)
Norieh Mahigiran Norieh Mahigiran ... Rival Cyclist
Azizeh Sedighi Azizeh Sedighi ... Hoora
Badr Iravani Badr Iravani ... Young Boy


A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can no longer play with the boys she had been playing with only the day before because she is now a woman. Told from the perspective of a 9-year-old girl who does not feel like or know what the word "woman" refers to, we see how devastatingly this affects both the girl and the boy with whom she had been friends. The second part is about a young woman who decides to enter a bicycle race against her husband's wishes. As first, the husband and then increasing numbers of men from her village ride beside her on horseback to convince her to return home. The race begins to symbolize a freedom that she desperately wants from the limitations that have been placed on her. Finally, the third part shows us an old woman who has come into some money and is now free to do what she wants. The way she chooses to use this... Written by Jonathan Beebe <jrbeebe@midway.uchicago.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Drama


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Did You Know?


Marzieh Makhmalbaf's directorial film debut. See more »


In the first sequence, the lollipop that Hava and Hassan pass between them grows and shrinks in size without regard to the passage of time. See more »


Young Boy: What's next on your shopping list?
Hoora: Ironing board, bath tub, samovar, bedroom lamp shade.
Young Boy: Who are you buying all this for?
Hoora: For myself. Anything I never had, I will buy for myself now. I brought all this money to buy what ever I wish.
See more »


Featured in Women Make Film: A New Road Movie Through Cinema (2018) See more »

User Reviews

A treat to watch!
19 November 2002 | by setukamalSee all my reviews

I saw this gem of a film a few months ago and it has lived with me ever since. There are lots of great things to talk about but I will only mention a few. I liked the striking images of the sea and the shore and the manner in which they are imbued with great meaning. The sea - which represents adventure, sensuality, fluidity, freedom and sex - is a constant motif throughout the film and is a joy to look at. I also liked the structure - reminiscent of Hemingway's short stories - where characters from one story seem to reappear in others.

But though connected through theme and also through the plot, the individual films retain a great level of distinctiveness. For instance, the second film remains unresolved at the end and the discussion of the two fellow riders in the third movie only have the effect of heightening that suspense. On the other hand, the third film has the effect of satisfactorily and unexpectedly wrapping up the first film: whereas the girl in the first film was denied the chance to enjoy the sea (and everything it represents), the old woman in the third film takes her revenge by completely inverting tradition. The image of the old woman and those motifs of domesticity being carried away on the sea is unusual but also funny. In putting not only herself but also her whole house on the sea, the old woman has inverted tradition and has the ultimate revenge.

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Release Date:

8 March 2001 (France) See more »

Also Known As:

The Day I Became a Woman See more »

Filming Locations:

Kish Island, Iran


Box Office


$180,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$48,255, 8 April 2001

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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