Home > Cinema, Middle East > Cinema: Ten (2002)

Cinema: Ten (2002)

Ten (2002)

This was one hell of a novel film – an unnamed woman driving a car (Mania Akbari) is the main character, and the movie is divided into ten sequences – ten encounters between the driver and her passengers. These include her son, her sister, an old woman on her way to a mausoleum, a prostitute and a young to-be bride. Along the way we learn that the woman has divorced her husband, and this is a source of much conflict between the woman and her son Amin (Akbari’s real-life son, also named Amin). After a lot of quarreling, the mother relents and allows him to go stay with his father. This part is just pure feminist-fodder, Amin resents the fact that his mother is an independent, working woman, calling her selfish and a bad mother for not being a housewife. The old woman in the third sequence is the sort of religious nut who simply won’t stop talking about their piousness, but the best scenes come with the to-be bride. The first time she is seen is when she is offered a ride back from the mausoleum, when she talks about wanting to get married, but her tone and her face reveal some sort of underlying tension. She is later seen in scene 9 (and scene 8? I couldn’t make out), when her to-be husband rejects her. When Amin’s mother asks her why she has worn her veil so tightly, she loosens it and we realize that she has shaved her head. In a moving scene, half laughing and half crying, she says it makes her feel free, liberated. The part with the prostitute was also good – the prostitute got into the car when Amin’s mother braked, thinking it was a man. We never see her face, and even when she leaves the car looking for another customer, we only see her back, properly veiled.

I don’t know how much this film grossed, but it must have cost next-to-nothing to make (talk of RoI)! It is entirely filmed on a digital camera, most of the actors (except for Mania Akbari) are amateurs and there seems to be no film crew involved – just the camera placed on the car’s dashboard. Overall, the film explores how excess social conservatism causes a ton of social problems and friction on a personal level. Very well-made, engrossing.

Music: Wardruna. Insanely trippy stuff. Pre-Christian Nordic folk music, with 3 planned albums and each album has 8 runes.

Runaljod - Gap var Ginnunga (Wardruna, 2009)


Categories: Cinema, Middle East
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