Skip to main content

ZINAT

Iran, 1994 (MIFF 1995)

Director: Ebrahim Mokhtari

A seemingly simple matter - that of a woman continuing to work after marrying—is the cause for consternation and calamity in Ebrahim Mokhtan's Zinat.The young rural healthcare nurse of the title, vital to her village's wellbeing, is soon to be wed. In fundamentalist Islamic Iran this implicitiy-but absolutely-means she must devote herself to her husband, his family and domestic dubes rather than pursue any potential­ly more satisfying career away from the hearth.

Constantly in opposition, to expectations placed upon her and her own torn sense of duty and self, Zinat's wish to be both wife and worker is essentially unfathomable to her parents and husband. Set in the Gulf region, with its stronger Arabic rather than Persian influences, this contra­diction is reflected in the very minutiae of daily village life-married women must wear full pur­dah yet the health workers uniform disallows it.

Controversial documentarist Ebrahim Mokhtan's first fiction feature is a finely detailed, complex and deeply-felt tale that succinctly cap­tures the conflict between centuries-old tradi­tions and contemporary social needs and realities. Mokhtan carefully structures Zinat's crit­icisms, and the result is a powerful and insightful look at the intricate and insidious nature of theocratic tyranny through the struggle of a courageous female character.

See also...

THROUGH THE OLIVE TREES

... ... Abbas Kirostami returns to the harshly beau­tiful landscape of his last two features, con­structing not so much a third part of a trilogy but rather an alternative view of Life and ... More »

LIFE AND NOTHING MORE

Awarded the Rossellini Prize at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival, this latest achieve­ment by one of Iran's foremost filmmakers takes us to the aftermath of the devastating 1990 earthquakes in ... More »

A TIME FOR DRUNKEN HORSES

Like the horses forced to travel the mountain in an involuntary state of intoxication, the children of this film have no recourse but to follow those who promise salvation. High in the mountains of ... More »

Let's Not Mud the Water

A programme of short films curated exclusively for MIFF by Bahman Ghobadi complements the 'Homelands Now' spotlight. It is an eclectic selection from one of the least-known filmmaking cultures in the ... More »

HOMEWORK

Shot in 1987, at the height of the Iran-Iraq war, Homework is an extraordinary snapshot of an Iranian primary school and the children who know the meaning of the word 'punishment' but few have heard ... More »

Cyanosis

A vivid portrait, animating the passionate work of Tehran street artist Jamshid Aminfar. ... More »

Select a festival
Search The Film Archive
Browse By Director