Tuesday, June 1, 2010 @ 7:00 PM
Maxwell Cummings Auditorium
Michal and Renata Hornstein Pavilion
Musée des beaux-arts de Montréal
1379 Sherbrooke Street W.
The Montreal premiere of acclaimed Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat’s first feature film, Women Without Men. This film marks an assured shift from her beautiful multi-screen gallery installations to the grand scale of the cinema.
Adapted from Sharhnush Parsipur’s magic realist novel, Women Without Men movingly chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women in the summer of 1953 – a crucial moment in Iranian history – when an American led, British backed coup d’état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh and re-installed the Shah to power. Opposition to the monarchy ultimately led to the Islamic Revolution of 1979.
Brought together over the course of several days against the backdrop of political and social turmoil, the destinies of the four female characters converge in a beautiful, mystical orchard where they find solace, independence and companionship. Sumptuously photographed and majestically paced, the film captures a complex moment in Iranian society, while offering an imaginative archeology of the recent protests, which, although met with brutality and repression, remind us that the struggle is alive and well.
Shirin Neshat was born in 1957 in Qazvin, Iran, moved to the United States in 1976 and lives in New York City. She has gained wide international acclaim for both her photo portrait series of women overlaid with calligraphy Women of Allah and for producing a series of lyrical video installations addressing the complex social and religious forces shaping the identity of Muslim women, among them Rapture (1999), and Turbulent (1998), which won her the International Award at the Venice Biennale. She has had solo exhibitions at the Whitney Museum, New York, The Serpentine Gallery, London, the Hambuger Bahnhof, Berlin and the Musée d’art contemporain de Montreal. Women Without Men is her directorial feature debut.