Four Wives—One Guy Directed by Nah

Four Wives—One Guy Directed by Nah

United states Institute for Yemeni Studies


2007, 76 mins, color. Made by Women Make films, 462 Broadway, fifth Floor, nyc, NY 10013, http: //www.

Four Wives—One guy is fundamentally about a family that is polygynous rural Iran. It starts with two written statements: “The Quran: ‘Marry two, three, or four spouses whenever you can manage sic it, ’” and “In Iran polygamy is available primarily in rural areas. ” These are followed closely by a dazzling scene of females and kids joking and playing on a golden mountain of recently harvested grain. The movie continues with photographic shots of each and every associated with four wives, associated with noise bites of these very own sounds launching on their own. Finally, we come across the spouse, Heda. Standing close to him is his son, subtly parodying their daddy’s stance, but there is certainly no associated noise bite to introduce him. Rather, we hear their old and feisty mother criticizing her son as only thinking about intercourse. Doubting Heda the formal introduction afforded their spouses is an inspired cinematic put?down of a distressing character and a reversal associated with the typical training of presenting males, yet not women, by title.

The movie’s message is apparently the problem that is universal polygynous households—a guy whom marries an additional spouse tends to lose desire for their very first spouse. The second wife and third wife each blames her unhappiness on the next wife, as if she herself had not upstaged an earlier wife as the wives continue to compete for Heda’s attention. Over and over repeatedly, they scapegoat each other. The wife that is fourth Heda as a beneficial spouse and declares, “I do not be sorry for having married Heda, but i really do be sorry for having married a person with three spouses. ” Just Heda’s mom along with his very first spouse blame him for behaving irresponsibly. Heda is physically and verbally abusive, relentlessly arguing and teasing together with his spouses, and threatening to marry just as before. He treats their young ones approximately. But we additionally see him taking their family members on a picnic, tenderly cradling a new resting child, having fun with their toddler, being affectionate together with his 4th spouse.

Regardless of their unhappiness, the women aren’t presented as passive victims. The 2nd, third, and wives that are fourth divorced once they came across Heda. They explain their initial reluctance to marry an already married man. Just the wife that is second forced to marry him by her moms and dads. The other two married Heda against their moms and dads’ desires. Every one of the spouses remain true with their spouse once they feel necessary. The wife that is first not a problem letting Heda understand of her annoyance with him. We hear their spouses scold him for their monetary errors and for ignoring their kids. One spouse defends her child’s gown when Heda accuses her of immodesty. Even though the spouses complain loudly of Heda’s numerous marriages, everyday life one of them includes scenes filled up with laughter and shared help in addition to bitter disputes.

Theoretically, many elements of this movie are aesthetically stunning. Its energy as ethnography is based on its depiction of rural life that is domestic. Material tradition fans will enjoy its footage that is extraordinary of bread, family members dishes, carpeting weaving, furniture, livestock care, a family group picnic, and ladies performing their frustrations because they work. A essential thread running through the initial 50 % of the movie may be the incessant bawdy humor among household members, including Heda’s senior mom. Not merely is it funny, however it humanizes its subjects and offers a glimpse that is rare the frank banter and humor this is certainly therefore typical within families in the Middle East. The behavior and assertiveness for the females contradict typical stereotypes for the Muslim girl as target (cf. Laila Lalami, “The Missionary Position, ”The Country, June 19, 2006). On a few occasions, Heda’s wives freely question their financial judgment. Ziba asks Heda to create the dining dining table while she smokes a water pipeline. On another event, he assists himself to tea. Obviously, their four wives try not to constantly serve him.

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