In this drama from French-Afghan director Atiq Rahimi and based on his own prizewinning novel (adapted by French screenwriting legend Jean-Claude Carriere), armed Islamist rebels inflict carnage on a village community in an unnamed country. A young woman (Golshifteh Farahani) remains behind to care for her husband, rendered comatose by a bullet in his neck. It’s a situation which exposes her to danger from the marauders, but also allows her to say things she would never have dreamed of saying to her husband during their marriage.
Heavy on monologue, the result has the feel of a literary adaptation and its apparent artificiality can be off-putting at first. Stick with it, however, and accept it as a telling fable of Muslim womanhood, and it becomes more compelling, since this frightened woman gains self-confidence by revealing the secret self she’s always kept hidden. It requires a leap of faith, but Rahimi’s handsome-looking film offers a disarming combination of insight, compassion and provocation. It also showcases a marvellous central performance as Farahani delivers a kaleidoscope of emotions.
Cast and crew
|Screenwriter:||Jean-Claude Carriere, Atiq Rahimi|