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The film The Circle is one of those films that leave a lasting impression on its audience. It pops up casually, again and again, as the viewer continues with his or her life. After all, if the viewer has the luxury of watching a movie at all, her situation is probably much better than those of the women featured in the film…
The images and sounds are equally pitiful and terrifying for the viewer.
In quick summary, the movie begins with a miraculous event- the birth of a child. Unfortunately, the joy never follows because the child is a girl, even though the doctors told the family it would be a boy. Then the viewers meet Arezou and Nargess who have escaped from prison. They try to find their way to what they hope might be a country paradise. Another woman, Pari, is pregnant, but since her husband has been executed, she cannot get approval for an abortion. She is trying desperately to get one anyway. Yet another woman is trying to abandon her young daughter with the hopes that another family will take pity on her and give her a happy home. A prostitute, a luckily remarried woman, and a woman whose husband remarried while she was in prison round out the cast. It should be noted that the cast was not one of Hollywood starts, but of real Middle Eastern women. This lends a feel of authenticity and reality to the film.
All of the women in director Jafar Panahi's film suffer from two things: their gender and their marital status. Single females in Iran are open to torturous and demeaning treatment every day. Their dress, travel, work, and hobbies are all subject to male approval. ...
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