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WOMEN'S PRISON (Zendan-e zanan)

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WOMEN'S PRISON (Zendan-e zanan)

Director: Manijeh Hekmat
Iran   |   2002   |   106 minutes
Farsi, with subtitles in English
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FILM INFORMATION

Synopsis This taboo-breaking film is based on Manijeh Hekmat's long fieldwork among women prisoners in Iran. She depicts the lives of Iran's lost generation in the two decades since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, using the claustrophobic life of women behind bars as a metaphor for the entire society. Her protagonist, Mitra, is in prison for killing her violent stepfather. On the eve of a prison riot she confronts Tahereh, the new warden, whose dogmatic views she challenges fearlessly. Over the course of the next 20 years, Tahereh's attitude toward her prisoners changes and softens, which reflects the country's shifting political stance. Eventually, Mitra, aged and exhausted, is finally released, but Tahereh left behind, is now more like a prisoner herself.

About the Director Born in 1962 in Arak, Iran, Manijeh Hekmat is a prolific figure in Iranian cinema. She was initially involved in the film industry as a script girl, and then as an assistant director for 11 feature films. In the last decade, she has produced five notable feature films including the award winning, The Girl in the Sneakers, and, Bunch of Grass, a German production in Iranian Kurdistan. Women’s Prison is Ms. Hekmat’s feature film directorial debut. It is based on her long studies and fieldwork with Iranian, female prisoners.

Available Screening Formats 35mm, DVD

Click here for Non-Theatrical & Exhibition screening information

Featured in the Global Lens 2004 film series.



CAST:

Roya Nonahali - Mitra
Roya Taymourian - The Warden
Pegah Ahangarani - Pegah, Sahar, Sepideh
Golab Adineh - Mitra’s mother
Maryam Boobani - Mrs Javadi

CREW:

Director - Manijeh Hekmat
Script - Farid Mostafavi (based on work by Manijeh Hekmat)
Photography - Dariush Ayyari
Editor - Mostafa Kherghe Poosh
Art Director - Jamshid Ahangarani
Sound - Mahmous Samakbashi
Make Up - Mehri Shirazi
Production Associate - Shirin Dibadj
Production Manager - Hamid-Reza Kaka
Producers - Manijeh Hekmat & Sirous Taslimi
Production Companies - Bamdad Film & Omid Film
REVIEWS

"Riveting. One of Iran's most prominent female filmmakers." -San Francisco Chronicle

"Scathing...Controversial...Hekmat is extremely courageous." -Variety

"Fascinating glimpse at life in modern Iran." -Honolulu Star-Bulletin

"Surprisingly trenchant!" -Village Voice

"Jagged realism...Far more sensational than Panahi's 'The Circle'." -Boston Phoenix

"Breathtaking...Revealing...Unforgettable!" -Journal of Middle Eastern Women's Studies

"Fascinating for its portrayal of an Iranian female community...Doubly fascinating in that it's by an Iranian female filmmaker." -The Lantern (Ohio State University)

FESTIVALS & AWARDS

Amnesty International- DOEN Award, ROTTERDAM INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
Ecumenical Jury Award- Special Mention, FRIBOURG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL