Women Without Men

Women Without Men

           Women Without Men
               Genre: Drama
               CIA, 1950, Iran, women, Venice, 2009, coup, Shah

Miraculous friendships

  The garden: a place of drudgery for some, for others an oasis of calm. In the debut film by video artist Shirin Neshat is the enchanted garden utopia. In the tradition of heavenly ideas she creates images of reconciliation with nature that burns deep into the memory. Sun enchanted, so intense and so spiritual it has long been seen no more natural shots. At the same time, the director manages the course as magical realism to weave with a serious political story. At the Venice Film Festival in 2009 she received the Silver Lion for Best Director.

Women without Men is taking a political episode that is largely forgotten in the West, but for the collective consciousness of the Iranian people had far-reaching consequences: the overthrow of the elected Prime Minister Mossadegh by the Parliament by a conspiracy of the American secret service CIA in 1953. The Americans and British, then it would simply not accept that Mossadegh nationalized the oil wells. For the 1957 Iran-born director, this was the cause of the anti-Americanism and the Islamic radicalization that led to the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 – and explained the seeds for a new dictatorship, this time by the ayatollahs. In her film credits dedicated Shirin Neshat the freedom fighters of 1953 and draws a direct line to the “green revolution” that fights for the last year for fair elections.

, But breathed is documents Aryan, as one might think because of this background is not Women without Men. The film recounts in elaborate images of four women who go through the weeks of the military coup in an ultimate personal development. The wealthy Fakhri (Arita Shahrzad) leaves her husband and begins in the aforementioned garden a new life. The oppressed by her brother Munis (Shabnam Tolouei) joins the street demonstrators. The conservative-religious Faezeh (Pegah Ferydoni go) to the eye to the true nature of patriarchy. And the prostitute empress (Orsi Toth) protection is charged in that surrealistic nature paradise that seems to heal the soul in its spiritual beauty.

Only Munis is thus an explicitly political activist. But the stories of four women are sent to assembly and the script linked, that the film instinctively between realism and dream, subjectively experienced reality and symbolically charged landscapes and forth can oscillate. In this way, the film manages the rare happy end feat revel on the one side in the paintings of great artistic power, but on the other hand these fantastic visions in every moment in the service of the story told to make.

Where the characterization individually enough to take us to the fate of each of these women. But it is also universal enough to attach to various associations to them. For example, the subject of a friendship that thrives on a wondrous harmony of souls. Or the theme of rebirth in a place where the people are with you and nature at peace. Or the religious allusions to a condition that seems to have a deeper meaning.

In principle, Shirin Neshat, the question of the emancipation of women answered as clearly as the policy after the emancipation. Without Women Men is already the novel of the Iranian writer Sharnush Parsipur on which the film is based. This does not mean that men should stay out. Too much there to discover in this complex work, which probably also look after several still harbors secrets.

(Peter Gutting)

Title: Women Without Men Original Title: Zanan-e bedun-e Mardan Country of production: Germany, France, Austria Year of Production: 2009 Length: 95 (Min.) Distribution: NFP Marketing & Distribution

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