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                                  Dir/Scr.Ebrahim Mokhtari

                                              Iran 1994


                          Sunday 20 November, 11.00am

                             at the National Film Theater


After watching the first few minutes of ZINAT, it was obvious that we were in the presence of a real filmmaker. Clear-cut framing, a few swift tracking shots and rhythmic cutting usher us immediately into Zinat’s world, a small health center by the sea where she tends to her patients’ ills and attempts to assuage their superstitions. Conflict arises when she agrees to be married but this means (according to law and traditional) that she will have to give up the job and dedicate herself to her family. Sensing how many people need her, she finds this difficult to do and a major confrontation takes place with her husband… what follows is not without its touches of melodrama but Mokhtari never loses sight of his theme, propelled along by his urgent shooting style. As Bethany Haye commented in moving pictures: “Without pointing a finger, or drawing mean or stupid characters, Mokhtari fashions a scathing accusation of theocratic tyranny, but also of hope and belief in human nature through the courageous and generous character of Zinat.”

 John Gillett


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