The Day I Became A Woman

The Day I Became A Woman (2000) directed by Marzieh Makhmalbaf a female Iranian director is a powerful feminist Iranian film.  The film is made up of three stories.

Story one is about a nine year old girl named Hava who under Islamic law has become a woman, but throughout the day tries to subvert womanhood so she can see her best friend Hassan one more time. In Iran after a girl becomes a woman she has to wear a veil and can no longer talk to boys or men that are not related to her. Story Two is about a married woman named Ahoo who is trying escape the confines of being an Iranian woman by competing in a bicycling race. Ahoo uses the modern bicycle to subvert the static nature of womanhood while her male relations use horses (the old fashioned methods of travel) to try to contain her.

The third story is of an elderly single woman named Hoora who now has all the money that she could want. Hoora uses that money to purchase household consumer items that in earlier years she was deprived of to express her freedom; though all Hoora really wants is companionship (a child) something that consumer culture cannot buy.

This foreign feminist film is so compelling that after watching it for a while you forget that you have to read subtitles. I recommend The Day I Became A Woman to my readers who want to know more about what being an Iranian woman means.

You’ll want to see this film if you are interested in, seeing how the veil can be used to both express freedom and enslavement,  questioning consumer culture, seeing feminist Iranian films or finally just interested in seeing an Iranian film directed by a woman There are so many talented artists of both genders that live or are from Iran and different parts of the Middle East and they deserve our viewership. Please check them out.

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