Not Without My Daughter (1991)
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This docudrama is an adaptation of the story of Betty Mahmoody (Sally Fields) who traveled to Teheran in the mid-'80s with her Iranian husband (Alfred Molina) and four-year-old daughter. Once back on his native soil after 20 years in the United States, her husband, the aptly named Moody, undergoes a personality transformation and he decides that he and his family will never go back to the U.S. He takes away Betty's credit cards and passport, and forbids her to use the telephone or to leave home. When she does try to escape to the Swiss Embassy, she is told that she is now an Iranian and has no rights as an American. Moody discovers what she has done and vows to kill her if she tries to leave again. For two more years, she suffers through repression and isolation while constantly thinking of how to escape with her daughter. Betty eventually joins forces with some Iranian friends in an underground group, who work on a plan to smuggle her and her daughter out of the country. The story is dramatic in its own right, taking the normal sense of isolation while alone in a foreign culture into nightmare proportions. As Moody condemns the American arming of Iraq for its attacks on Iran, the alienation Betty feels pointedly takes on political overtones. His transformation and the political nuances of this docudrama ride an anti-Islamic mood in the nation at the time of the film's release. … More
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Critic Reviews for Not Without My Daughter
Sally Field gives an emotionally-rich performance
Surprisingly gripping, though somewhat xenophobic.
Audience Reviews for Not Without My Daughter
Wow. This was an incredibly chilling and moving story with a great performance by Sally Field. I literally felt that I was Betty, experiencing the hostility toward women in Iran. She made me feel what she must have been feeling, being held hostage against her will in a foreign country where she is not treated equally to man. She lived in constant fear of being beaten or killed or having her child taken away. This movie is based on the true story of Betty's adventure as she tries to escape her abusive Iranian husband and return to America with her daughter. The ONLY negative thing I have to say about the movie is that the husband's demeanor seemed to dramatically change as he went from a loving, devoted husband and father to a brutal, controlling Muslim. The movie does not show many Muslim characters in a good light... in fact, the majority of the Muslims are shown to be uncaring and insensitive. I did not receive the movie as racist but I fear that others might. The culture was not shown in a very good light, in fact, I found myself thinking from time to time, "Praise God I live in America!" The American flag waving at the end is almost a little hokey even though it's supposed to represent triumph and freedom. The message I'm getting is: "America= Good Iran= Bad"" I'm sure not all of Iran is how Betty experienced it. Overall, an amazing and well-told story.More
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