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United states Institute for Yemeni Studies


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

Four Wives—One guy is fundamentally about a family that is polygynous rural Iran. It starts with two penned statements: “The Quran: ‘Marry two, three, or four spouses it, ’” and “In Iran polygamy is available primarily in rural areas. When you can afford sic” These are accompanied by a scene that is spectacular of and kids joking and playing on a golden mountain of recently harvested grain. The movie continues with photographic shots of every of the four spouses, associated with noise bites of the voices that are own 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’s no associated sound bite to introduce him. Alternatively, we hear his old and mother that is feisty her son as only thinking about intercourse. Doubting Heda the formal introduction afforded their spouses is an imaginative cinematic put?down of a distressing character and a reversal associated with the typical training of presenting guys, although not ladies, by title.

The movie’s message is apparently the common issue among polygynous households—a guy whom marries abq pof an extra spouse has a tendency to lose fascination with their very 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 over repeatedly, they scapegoat each other. The 4th spouse praises Heda as a great spouse and declares, “I do not be sorry for having married Heda, but i actually do be sorry for having hitched a person with three spouses. ” Just Heda’s mom and their wife that is first blame for behaving irresponsibly. Heda is actually and verbally abusive, relentlessly arguing and teasing together with spouses, and threatening to marry all over again. He treats their young ones approximately. But we also see him using their household for a picnic, tenderly cradling a new child that is sleeping having fun with their toddler, being affectionate together with his 4th spouse.

The women are not presented as passive victims in spite of their unhappiness. The 2nd, 3rd, and 4th spouses had been divorced once they came across Heda. They explain their initial reluctance to marry an already married man. Only the 2nd spouse had been forced to marry him by her moms and dads. One other two married Heda against their moms and dads’ desires. Every one of the spouses remain true for their spouse once they feel necessary. The wife that is first not a problem permitting Heda understand of her annoyance with him. We hear their spouses scold him for their monetary errors and for ignoring their kiddies. One spouse defends her child’s gown when Heda accuses her of immodesty. Even though the spouses complain loudly of Heda’s multiple marriages, everyday life one of them includes scenes full of laughter and shared help in addition to bitter disputes.

Theoretically, numerous elements of this movie are aesthetically stunning. Its power 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 females performing their frustrations while they work. A thread that is important through the very first 50 % of the movie could be the incessant bawdy humor among family relations, including Heda’s senior mother. Not merely is this funny, however it humanizes its topics and offers a glimpse that is rare the frank banter and humor that is therefore typical within families at the center East. The assertiveness and behavior associated with ladies contradict typical stereotypes regarding the Muslim girl as target (cf. Laila Lalami, “The Missionary Position, ”The Country, June 19, 2006). On a few occasions, Heda’s spouses freely question his economic judgment. Ziba asks Heda to create the dining dining dining table while a water is smoked by her pipeline. On another occasion, he assists himself to tea. Demonstrably, his four spouses usually do not serve him always.

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