The Day I Became A Woman review

After helping his daughter Samira kick off her directorial career with The Apple, Iranian film-maker Mohsen Makhmalbaf now co-writes his wife's debut, a three-part meditation on the plight of women in Islamic society.

In the first section, nine-year-old Hava (Fatemeh Cherag Akhar) bids a poignant farewell to her friends before returning to her house for a life of seclusion. The second episode follows Ahoo (Shabnam Toloui), a married woman who defies her relatives to compete in a bicycle race. The last and most surreal segment finds elderly widow Hoora (Azizeh Sedighi) blowing her inheritance on the consumer items she has never owned.

All three stories revolve around images of escape, from the cyclists' billowing chadors to the climactic vision of Hoora's furniture floating away on rafts. But flight, like equality, is merely an illusion for the heroines of this beguiling, if slightly unsatisfactory, triptych.


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