In a war ridden country a woman watches over the husband reduced to a vegetable state by a bullet in the neck, abandoned by Jihad companions and brothers. One day, the woman decides to say things to him she could never have done before.
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Somewhere, in Afghanistan or elsewhere, in a country torn apart by a war... A young woman in her thirties watches over her older husband in a decrepit room. He is reduced to the state of a vegetable because of a bullet in the neck. Not only is he abandoned by his companions of the Jihad, but also by his brothers. One day, the woman decides to tell the truth to him about her feelings about their relationship to her silent husband. She talks about her childhood, her suffering, her frustrations, her loneliness, her dreams, her desires... She says things she could never have done before, even though they have been married for the past 10 years. Therefore, this paralyzed man unconsciously becomes syngue sabour, a magic stone which, according to Persian mythology, when placed in front of a person shields her from unhappiness, suffering, pains and miseries. In this wait for her husband to come back to life, the woman struggles to survive and live. She finds refuge in her aunt's place, who is...Written by
The official entry of Afghanistan to the Best Foreign Language Film of the 85th Academy Awards 2013. See more »
So often times I find I am most appreciated in my role as husband, the less I say. Honestly, it came up the evening before I watched this film. That being said, I'm not quite willing to take a bullet in the neck to help the process. Alas only a bullet and no Oscar for Hamid Djavadan as the husband in this film. Although it used to be a theory that mute actresses could win an award for similar roles.
Golshifteh Farahani is the actress here, and far from mute, she finds her voice/strength/resolve. Her beauty is striking, did anyone else find that detracted some from the dire dilapidation of her village and situation. The filmmakers did try to muss her up some, but in "The Patience Stone" we are reminded again that a jewel in the rough is still a jewel. Radiant.
And this film is all hers, with perhaps the most soliloquies you'll see this side of graduation week at an arts college. Her face runs an impressive gamut of expression, but as I bought the air of impending danger (one scene in particular with a neighbor driven mad really resonated), that I had a hard time with her character registering anything more than shock. Granted I realize far too many people (and children) grow up in such troubling circumstances, and that alone is mind-boggling. (And soul-shaking.) There are interesting side-story and back-story aspects (The Aunt!!) so perhaps the book would be best to start with (I had intended to, but didn't get around to it.) Mostly this film is a story of perhaps the most impossible marital counseling one could ever expect.
Although, there are some things I bet you will expect while watching it, and while the fair Ms. Farahani is Iranian, this film is definitely French and becomes so the more it progresses.
Still something different to watch and contemplate (no Fatwa so far for the director). I did learn of Dari (a Farsi variant from Afghanistan, but I've no clue what native speakers of either thought about this film, and I would be curious.) Also the yellow burqa was an indelible image. I looked a little for Islamic symbolism for the same. Watching Farahani flip it on and still infuse that billowing robe with her energy was eye-catching. I did wonder as she went into a pharmacy at one point how people could quickly tell who is who in such a situation. I imagine it can be done, something about the specific burqa and how the woman moves within it....of course the voice, but it seems having a stunt double or misdirection/fake alibi by virtue of the burqa could happen.
Probably identifying women in their burqas is easier than I can imagine, but perhaps misleading mullahs is easier than they too can imagine? Let me know when that film is made ;> The film definitely felt more like a play come to the big screen than a book, but perhaps the book was streamlined to fit. Guess I'd recommend trying to read it first, but watching the film is worth one's while, especially for fawning fans of Farahani.
By the way, perhaps leaving some stones unturned is okay?
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