The Day I Became a Woman

The Day I Became a Woman ★★★★

''You're a woman now...You can't play with boys any longer...You have to cover up your hair from now on.''

This is quite the delicacy, a triptych of interconnected stories that could very well be the same woman's journey through life (except that each of the three are named differently at the stage of life they feature in) as we see the shift from girl to womanhood in the first chapter with the weight of expectation to live up to societal, traditional and religious expectation (despite having likely never developed a true understanding of the belief system she is being thrust into) bearing down on her childlike innocence. The second act follows a female bicycle race, where our protagonist is chased by all the 'men' in her life on horseback, her defiance and drive to maintain her own identity making her the target of scornful disdain, potential divorce and accusations of sacrilege in riding "the devil's mount.". The final act blends a humorous and elegiac tone as the eldest female representative reflects back on a life that she had no agency over, and decides to spend her inheritance: "Whatever I never had, I will buy for myself now.", and with the aid of servant boys to transport all her purchases, manages to, in her twilight years find the identity she has likely always craved. The Day I Became a Woman is wonderful little film that delivers it's allegorical content in creative and inspired ways and delights visually in it's seaside setting, but is also the debut film of another of the Makhmalbaf clan; Marzieh Meshkini who is Mohsen's (A Moment of Innocence, Kandahar) husband and Samira's (The Apple, Blackboards) mother -- and what a creative force and important voice for the oppressed they all are!

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