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BEMANI

Iran, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Homelands The Middle East in Focus)

Director: Dariush Mehrjui

Bemani Iran

Recalling the searing film The Circle (MIFF 2001), this courageous film from Dariush Mehrjui (The Pear Tree, MIFF 1999) examines the tragedy of Iranian women struggling to lead normal lives in an ultraconservative society. Powerful and gripping, Bemani expertly blurs the line between fiction and documentary in its depiction of social relationships.

Bemani focuses on three young women living near the Iraqi border: Madina is a rug weaver who innocently engages in a conversation with a soldier, with tragic consequences; Nassim is studying medicine at university behind her father's back, but when the family patriarch finds out and punishes her, she resorts to a drastic measure; Bemani is forced into a marriage with her family's wealthy and repugnant landlord.

The love of life exuded by these women, and the tragedy of their circumstances, is heartbreakingly rendered by Mehrjui. A spark of hope is kept alight by the film's title character, as Bemani rebels against the insecurities and cruelty that surround her.

D Dariush Mehrjui P Mohammad Nikbin, Tahmineh Milani, Dariush Mehrjui S Dariush Mehrjui, Vahideh Mohammadifar WS Farabi Cinema Foundation L Farsi w/English subtitles TD 35mm/Col/2002/97mins

Dariush Mehrjui was born in Tehran, Iran in 1940. Films include: Diamond 33 (1967), The Cow (1969), Hamoon (1990), Leila (MIFF 1998).

See also...

THE PEAR TREE

The latest project from veteran Iranian filmmaker Dariush Mehrjui is a contemporary fable about the redemptive power of the spirit. Mahmud (Homayun Eskandari) is a middle-aged poet and writer who ... More »

THE COW

Dariush Mehrjui's first film, The Cow, was made independently in Iran, and its success at the 1971 Venice Film Festival has given Iranian film-making a stature long sought by small countries with ... More »

THE POSTMAN

Adapted from George Buchner's play, 'Woyzeck', The Postman is the second film by Daryush Mehrjui, whose first film, The Cow, is also an entry in this year's Festival. ... The postman of a quiet ... More »

THE CYCLE

This is the first film released in Iran from director Dariush Mehrjui since his earlier films, The Cowand The Postman, The Cycle looks critically at corruption in the medical services provided by the ... More »

LEILA

Leila is a beautiful young woman from an affluent background. Just married to a doting husband, Reza, Leila is confronted with the painful reality of being unable to bear children. Reza, contrary to ... More »

RIVERSIDE, THE

The Riverside Iran During the recent Iraq'US war, a newly-wed bride steps on a mine in the sparse, sun-scorched desert on the Iran'Iraq border. If she moves her foot, the mine will detonate. Pleading ... More »

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