Director: Dariush Mehrjui
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).