Women Without Men

2009, Drama, 1h 35m

41 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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critics consensus

Its reach may exceed its grasp, but Women Without Men's beautiful imagery and quiet elegance will entrance patient viewers. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

The streets of Tehran, Iran, are teeming with protesters objecting to the overthrow of the prime minister, but four disparate women have more immediate concerns. Farrokhlagha's (Arita Shahrzad) husband thinks he's entitled to be married to multiple women. Munis (Shabnam Toloui) is a virtual slave to her brother. Faezeh (Pegah Ferydoni) has physical and emotional troubles. And Zarin (Orsolya Tóth) is an unwilling prostitute. Boldly, the women pursue solutions to the problems foisted upon them.

Cast & Crew

Critic Reviews for Women Without Men

Audience Reviews for Women Without Men

  • Feb 27, 2013
    Magic realism works surprisingly well alongside "everyday life" in this drama which focuses on the interweaving of four Iranian women in 1953 - the year of the US/British coup d'etat. Complex but approachable, the film deftly tackles feminist, religious and political themes in an assured evocation of period. Excellent performances from the four lead actors.
    Daniel P Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2010
    a interesting drama set in iran during a turbelant time during the 50s, and four womens lives looked at, and how the four are connected through a location they all find in some way, well told in parts and the setting set during the days of the shaw, and there dispute with the british goverment blockadeing there oil, fits well together and adds to the lives of the charactors, also good at showing how iran is male dominated, and women not having the rights others do
    scott g Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2010
    1953 Iran is like the present day Iran in some areas, as women have to live by prescribed roles in both times. For example, Zarin(Orsolya Toth) is a prostitute. Fakhri(Arita Shahrzad) is nearing fifty and encounters Abbas(Bijan Daneshmand), an ex-flame, just as her husband(Tahmoures Tehrani), a general, is threatening to marry a younger woman. It is Munis(Shabnam Toloui) who sees the possibility for a better future as she listens to news reports on the radio about the protests that are happening just outside her door but is forbidden from attending by her brother Amir Khan(Essa Zahir) who is angry at her for not being married at the ripe old age of thirty, as her friend Faezeh(Pegah Ferydoni) commiserates with her. "Women without Men" gets off to a slow start but gains steam and a visual flair once it not only escapes from its social realist origins to tell its story from a magic realism angle, but also as the female characters are escaping from their roles. Zarin runs away from the brothel to the country while Fakhri herself runs away and buys an orchard. Munis' escape is the most drastic but it is also not the end of her story, as rebirth in both a literal and a symbolic sense is a major theme of the movie as Iran is born again in a revolution(I love that a Communist is portrayed in a positive light), just not one with a happy ending this time around for the country. (Originally reviewed May 16, 2010)
    Walter M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 08, 2010
    Haunting, beautifully shot tale of four Iranian women during the 1953 coup, each abused by the men in their lives in different ways, who find peace and refuge in a lush orchard far from the turmoil. Some of the stories work better than others, but director Shirin Neshat conjures a powerful mood, even if it falls just short of compelling.
    Matthew L Super Reviewer

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