Women Without Men (2009) is an Iranian film whose original title is Zanan-e bedun-e mardan. It was directed by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari. The title "Women Without Men" is misleading, because the women are only "without" men because they are able temporarily to escape from the men in their lives by moving to a rural estate.
The movie takes place in 1953, when the CIA helped overthrow the democratic government of Iran and put the Shah into power. Some of the women are running from government oppression, and some of them are running from the oppression of the men in their lives.
The women in the film had few acceptable options--probably an accurate reflection of the lives of women in Iran during this period. It's a grim situation, and it's depicted in a grim film. I don't have the expertise to know how faithful the film is to the novel on which it's based, or to the reality of events in 1950's Iraq. That information will have to come from an expert. (My guess is that the portrayal of women's lives is pretty accurate.)
This is a powerful film. We saw it at the excellent Rochester 360-365 film festival--dumb name but great festival. There's enough in this film to make it worth seeing, but, in my opinion, not enough to warrant seeking it out at all costs. It should work well on a small screen.
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