As every cinema buff knows, the best films in the world are now coming out of Iran. In fact, the worst Iranian film I've seen in the last five years was still pretty good. If you get the chance, go over to Casa Video and rent The White Balloon, Children of Heaven, The Jar and The Mirror. But first, go see The Day I Became A Woman. It's an anthology of three stories about contemporary Iranian women. The first story is in the mold of the best Iranian film: It features a young girl facing the kind of situation that seems extraordinarily tense when you are not yet nine, and it conveys that tension forcefully, but without transforming it into an adult scenario. The next vignette features a woman in a bicycle race whose husband is threatening to divorce. Shooting in real time, the camera never stops moving, and though it isn't as effective emotionally as the first story, it's technically amazing. The final piece is a story about an old woman on a wild shopping spree and the horde of young boys who carry all her dream merchandise along behind her. It's visually stunning, with an odd story that nonetheless evokes a familiar, if seldom discussed, feeling.
Director: Marzieh Meshkini
Cast: Azizeh Seddighi, Shabnam Toloui and Hassan Nabehan