Review: ‘Daughters of the Sun’

A plea for attention to despicable conditions of female servitude in contempo Iran, "Daughters of the Sun" features a Falconetti-ish lead perf, daring role-reversal plotline and deliberate pace that should attract fest and specialty situations yet renders pic too specialized and bleak for all but the most committed distribs.

A plea for attention to despicable conditions of female servitude in contempo Iran, “Daughters of the Sun” features a Falconetti-ish lead perf, daring role-reversal plotline and deliberate pace that should attract fest and specialty situations yet renders pic too specialized and bleak for all but the most committed distribs.

With freshly-shaved head and boyish garb, young Amangol is dispatched to a far-away weaving job to raise money for her sick mother. The job and deception were arranged by her father to keep her safe and ensure her employment. Locked into a sparsely furnished room by a cruel master, a small group weaves constantly, with subservient yet strong Amangol taking the brunt of the boss’ frequent ire. She is befriended by despondent young female co-worker Belgheis, who, having lost her entire immediate family in an earthquake and failing to see through the deception, comes to view Amangol as her savior — with tragic results. Altinay Ghelich Taghani’s lead perf mixes bravery with despair. Tech credits are admirable, with Homayoun Payvar’s crisp images conveying the bone-numbing cold and soul-freezing repression of these young women who suffer so in order to create such beauty.

Daughters of the Sun

Iran

Production

A Farabi Cinema Foundation production. (International sales: Farabi Cinema Foundation, Tehran.) Produced by Jahangir Kosari. Directed, written by Maryam Shahriar.

Crew

Camera (color), Homayoun Payvar; editor, Shahrzad Pouya; music, Hossein Alizadeh; art director, Malek Jahan Khazaei; sound, Parvis Abnar. Reviewed at Montreal Film Festival (Cinema of Tomorrow: New Trends), Aug. 29, 2000. Original title: Dakhtaran-e Khorshid. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Altinay Ghelich Taghani, Soghra Karimi, Zahra Mohamadi, Habib Haddad.
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