The Day I Became a Woman
A loosely related triptych of stories, The Day I Became a Woman chronicles a day in the lives of three Iranian women of different generations. In the first tale, Havva (Fatemeh Cheragh Akhtar) is told when she wakes that she has become a woman because she is 9 years old that day. She wants to go out to play with her best friend, but her grandmother tells her she cannot play with boys anymore. She pleads for one more hour to be a little girl and play with her pal. In the second story, Ahoo (Shabnam Toloui) is riding a bicycle in a race when her husband rides up on horseback and demands that she get off her "devil's mount" or he will divorce her. The last and most charming story is that of the elderly Houra (Azizeh Seddighi), who has come into some money and goes to the city to buy all the things she never had, from a refrigerator to a fancy white wedding dress. Written by Iran's most celebrated director, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Woman marks the promising directorial debut of his wife, Marzieh Meshkini. The film is simply but gorgeously photographed, and Meshkini invites critique of these women's positions in society without pity or didacticism. The film's final shot is worth the price of admission. (Jaimie Baron) Opens at Sony Valley Centre in Owings Mills April 6.