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Vanessa McMahon

Vanessa is a novel writer, screenwriter, rep and a film producer. She shares her discoveries and film surprises. :-)



Iranian Cinema, a tribute

A tribute to Iranian cinema... From ‘Women Without Men' (2009) to ‘Nader And Simin, A Separation' (2011)


So, seeing how Iranian cinema continues to make leaps and bounds for World Cinema in general let me recall one of my favorite Iranian films of the past year...


‘Women Without Men' by director Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari premiered at the 66th Venice Film Festival on 8 Sep 2009 at the Sala Grande but sadly, I had not yet had the chance to see it until recently. So, this film is old news to some but it was my first time seeing it and it also features one of my favorite Iranian actors, Navid Akhavan, so I just had to share my experience of this film.


Set in Iran in 1953 four women- Faezeh, Munis, Farrokhlagha and Zarin- whose lives have been wrecked by dominating men in a radically patriarchal culture, these women find refuge in an orchard far away from reality. It is a beautiful seemingly endless garden where each woman finds her solace and reconnects with her previous lost soul. While the film is set at a very real moment in history, the 1953 coup d'état of Iran's democratically elected Mohammad Mosaddegh, it has striking magical realism elements where hard reality shifts to poetic dream making us wonder which is which throughout.


Setting the film at this point in history makes it hard to point fingers on the antagonist. Are they Persian men, English and/or American men instigating the coup d'état, or is the collective antagonist all men in general? Whatever the case may be, these four women without men find their Garden of Eden and purity together in a realist dream world somewhere in an orchard far far away... Is it real? Is it a dream? Is it an earthly paradise on the outskirts of Tehran? Are they dead and this is heaven? Whatever it is, it is a cinematic masterpiece and it is ‘Women Without Men'.


Written by, Vanessa McMahon Feb 27, 2011.



AND THE 2011 GOLDEN BEAR GOES TO.... Nader And Simin, A Separation


Don't miss this latest Iranian cinematic pearl...


This year at Berlinale 2011, Iranian cinema cleaned up with Golden Bear winner for Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader And Simin, A Separation) by Asghar Farhadi


silver bear winner for: to the actress-ensemble in Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader And Simin, A Separation) by Asghar Farhadi


and another silver bear winner for: to the actor-ensemble in Jodaeiye Nader az Simin (Nader And Simin, A Separation) by Asghar Farhadi


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