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City Walls - My Own Private Tehran


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Grade Level: SrH-Adult
Producer: Filmakers Library
Closed Captioned: No
Running Time: 52 mins
Country of Origin: United States
Study Guide: No

Copyright Date: 2008
Available in French: No

In this disarmingly intimate and revealing film three generations of women in an Iranian family describe their struggles for survival within marriages founded on Iranian traditions.

The filmmaker's grandmother was married at 13 to a ne'er-do-well who spent what little money there was on opium and drinking. She became a maid and a wet nurse in order to earn enough to feed her six daughters.

Both the filmmaker's mother and then the filmmaker herself entered difficult marriages, each of which ended in divorce. The third generation however had one advantage. The Revolution allowed girls to get a university education--even girls from poor families. So the filmmaker, Sonia, was able to study in Iran and abroad in Switzerland.

As the women tell their stories the audience gets a glimpse of traditional customs in Iran and how they are carried forward today. A woman without a husband still encounters prejudices and a constricted life style. Sonia's shots of street scenes and of domestic life attest to her attachment to her country and her family Yet she must leave it all behind if she is to realize her goals.