6.7/10
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Zendan-e zanan (2002)

Spanning 18 years in an Iranian women's prison, this follows two women: the new prison warden, a tough as nails devout Muslim who has served in the army on the Iraqi front, and a young ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
... Mitra
... Warden
... Sepideh
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Maryam Boubani
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Storyline

Spanning 18 years in an Iranian women's prison, this follows two women: the new prison warden, a tough as nails devout Muslim who has served in the army on the Iraqi front, and a young midwife, Mitra, who is serving her sentence for killing her mother's abusive husband. In the early years, Mitra is repeatedly punished as the warden tries to break her. This includes punishment for delivering a baby in the prison cell while all of the prison staff has taken shelter during an Iraqi bombing. The warden's attitude starts to change after 8 years, when Mitra tries to protect a new inmate from rape at the hands of her older cellmates. When the baby comes back in 1991 as a 17 year old delinquent, Sepideh, the warden respects Mitra enough to protect the girl. Written by Maple-2

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women's prison | See All (1) »

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Drama

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Details

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sourehcinema

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Release Date:

7 August 2002 (Iran)  »

Also Known As:

Women's Prison  »

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1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Director Manijeh Hekmat spent over two years visiting jails and talking to inmates before having more than 40 different meetings, over three months, with authorities to gain access to an actual jail in which to film. To complicate matters further she was disallowed the required director's permit from the Iranian Society of Film Directors, eventually using her husband's name to obtain the permit. See more »

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User Reviews

 
Women's Prison
1 April 2007 | by See all my reviews

Having lived in the Middle East in various parts for over 15 years and having an American friend who as part of the church group visits prisoners in the ladies gaol in Bahrain, I was intrigued to watch this movie.

I am also an avid fan of art-house and foreign films as the topics are of much greater interest to me in showing the living conditions, the lives and emotions of the people in a country in minute detail.

Having watched a number of Iranian movies, I found this film extremely interesting due to the contrast of the Islamic women in charge of the prison against the women behind bars. In particular, the relationship changes over 17 years, between Mitra and Tehereh, and the mutual respect that eventually builds between them.

The film was well acted and atmospheric in its portrayal of life in Iran and the difficulties its women encounter and the prejudice and suppression they live under daily.

I highly recommend this film for anyone interested in the intricacies of some womens life in the Middle East, the exploration of balance of power within a prison and how over a period of time this can change.


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