Mokarrameh, a widow in a rural Iran, once owned a beloved cow. She had to seek grass on a long and tiring walk to feed the animal. One day her children sold the beast without telling her. Overcome by sorrow, she began to paint.
Mokarrameh made her first painting (a portrait of the cow) with mud and cow dung on a rock as a means to find consolation for its death. She painted on the walls of her house, on pumpkins, on whatever surfaces she could find until one of her sons, on his monthly visit from Tehran, brought her paper and paint. From that day Mokarrameh has painted tirelessly. Now her home overflows with her colorful work, in which local life, legends and memories are vividly depicted.
All of Mokarrameh's paintings tell a story. Some tell the story of her life, the stories of other wives of her husband, or of other women in the village. Interwoven are bittersweet tales; bickering between wives about their husband-in-common, and Mokarrameh's confrontation with her uncle about why she was sold into marriage at such a young age.
Mokarrameh's paintings represent a mingling of reality and her imagination, providing rare insight into the lives of women in Iran.
"Offers dynamic and credible images of unique Iranian women in rural contexts. Defiance, humiliation, and pain are interwoven with a celebration of the simple pleasures in life and nature. The process which transformed Mokarrameh into a fully-fledged artist has awakened acute human and feminist sensitivities about herself and her own worth. Mokarrameh's conversations bring out the complex and contradictory character of women... and their accommodation of and resistance to patriarchal control." - Al Jadid, A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts
2002 Middle East Studies Association FilmFest
First Prize, 2000 Festival Traces de Vies (France)
Grand Prize, 2000 Festival of Zanzibar
Golden Gate Award, 2000 San Francisco International Film Festival
1999 Cinéma du Réel (Paris)
1999 Sheffield International Documentary Festival (U.K.)