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Tehran

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Leila

Watched this last night. I think I am staying in the theme of Iran and polygamy...

The story line of this movie is evolving around young couple living in Tehran, Iran. Leila, the wife of Reza, can't have children, and slowly sulks into her own world of self imposed rejection. Her mother-in-law runs the show, it seems, and convinces Leila to include another woman into their family, as a wife, of course.

The whole 2h of this movie, which seems like it was made in the 40ties, not in th 90ties, tries to make sense of emotional struggles of husband and wife trying to figure out what's really the best for them, listening to the voices of their family members, customs, expectations and their own desires.

The acting is different than in Western movies. Some long shots are overloaded with Leila's face, but overall if you are interested in a psychological mapping of a family life in modern Iran, watch this. Invaluable.

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women in 20th century Iran (under Shah Pahlavi and Khomeini)

I like to know about any recommendations for the books which are a "must" from others. I do read book's reviews at Amazon and other sites (especially homeschooling stuff, it saved me from purchasing many over-marketed books), then I check them out from the library. The last 2 weeks I've read 2 books, memoirs written by Iranian women who lived throughout the Shah and Khomeini times. You will become familiar with the culture, traditions and customs of the people of 20th century Iran as well as meet 2 women who went against the flow of the times, had to learn how to survive, live and tell the story.

"Prisoner of Tehran: a memoir" by Marina Nemat, tells you a story of a girl imprisoned as a teenager, surviving execution, forced to be married to her captor. Fascinating and powerful, one night read. You can't put it away, every chapter draws your attention to the next. Vividly portrays the prison life, emotional and spiritual turmoil, painting them on the canvas with the background of her life before. As a Catholic believer, she was under even greater scrutiny, but her faith gave her courage and she had few encounters that clearly proved her God to be the One who loves, cares and remembers.

"Persian girls: a memoir" by Nahid Rachlin, starts as a story of a girl who was given by her mother to her barren aunt, and then taken back. She takes you through her family's events, rather tragic, through the moment that changed her life, going to school in the USA. She struggles to keep her identity and to fit into her new lifestyle, which she expected to be different.

Both of these books dismantle the idea that Shah's western ways of life, promoted so heavily during his reign, were of a help to the Iranian women. You see the position of a women coming from an era of superficial freedom under Shah, who controlled the society for his personal benefits, to the place of religiously imposed laws, not giving them any other options to chose from.

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