Women Without Men – Review

Posted January 28, 2010 in

Women Without Men

Sundance Film Festival

Director: Shirin Neshat

I first became acquainted with Iranian director Shirin Neshat through her "Women of Allah" photographic and calligraphy series in the early 1990s. Since then, Neshat has remained an active artist, directing and exhibiting over 18 video installations since 1996.  Women Without Men is Neshat's first feature length film and is based on the book of the same name by female author Shahrnush Parsipur. The film narrates a complex story based around the lives of three women living in Tehran in the summer of 1953. This is the time period in Iranian history when a coup d’état (lead by the Americans funded by the British) brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, resulting in the Shah taking power and the beginning of a 25-year cruel dictatorship. The issues these characters face—gender politics, social control, government turmoil—create a stark reality of how difficult life was (and still can be) for Muslim women. Women Without Men couples Neshat’s experience in visually expressing Iranian women’s issues with Parsipur’s imaginative character development to create a heart-wrenching film women everywhere must see. Soundtrack by award-winning Japanese composer Ryuichi Sakamoto.

Angela H. Brown


sundance film guide


Screening Times:

January 23 – 6:30 PM – Screening Room – Sundance, UT 

January 24 – 6:00 PM – Egyptian Theatre, Park City, UT

January 25 – 10:30 PM – Broadway Centre Cinema IV, Salt Lake City, UT

January 28 – 12:00 PM – Holiday Village Cinema IV, Park City, UT

January 30 – 11:30 PM – Holiday Village Cinema I, Park City, UT