Friday, May 27, 2011

THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN (Marzieh Meshkini, 2000)

****
Iran
A triptych of pertinent tales about three women, who may as well be three variations on a single, oppressed woman at three crucial stages in her life. In the first story, Hava is an hour away from turning nine, and having to wear a chador as well as end her friendship with the boy next door. In the second a recently wed woman enters a bicycle race to escape from her husband and two vengeful brothers. In the third, an elderly woman goes on a shopping spree, collecting every household appliance she’d been deprived of in her youth. To varying degrees, an element of surrealism – or just plain absurdism - dominates each of the three vignettes.

Marzieh Meshkini is a sensitive and supremely talented woman. This is her first film – her film school thesis even – and already she appears to have developed a peerless sense for where to put the camera in order to most economically evoke a lifetime of deep and profound mourning.

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