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Zinat, One Special Day
A Film by Ebrahim Mokhtari
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To work as a nurse, Zinat became the first woman from the Island of Qeshm in the south of Iran to remove the traditional veil (Boregheh). A health care worker for 13 years, she eventually got involved in social and political activities. Now Zinat, along with her husband Ahmad, is running for office in the first local elections held in Iran since the revolution.

Because it is forbidden to film in public the day of the elections, filmmaker Ebrahim Mokhtari shoots inside Zinat's house. Amidst election day rumors and intrigue, Zinat engages in friendly banter with Ahmad over which of them will get the most votes. She trades spirited jibes with a man who tells her, "a woman should be like a domesticated animal," and her visitors debate the place of women in Iranian society.

The following day, with the elections over, Mokhtari shows the village and the daily life of its inhabitants, while Zinat presents her intentions, as a newly elected representative, to improve the living conditions of her fellow villagers.

"The film celebrates the empowerment of women, not abstractly, but in direct life situations, without sentimentality or manipulation of scenes or dialogue... The film captures Zinat at home with her family, children, and relatives as she runs for election in the village council. Her great social service to the village seems to undermine patriarchal resistance to her. Zinat's unique qualities, alongside her wit and charm, are no small influence in paving the way for new roles for rural [Iranian] women."—Al Jadid - A Review & Record of Arab Culture and Arts

2005 National Women's Studies Association Film Festival
Special Mention of the International Jury, 2000 Cinéma du Réel (Paris)
2000 San Francisco International Film Festival
2000 Amsterdam International Documentary Festival
2000 Sheffield Film Festival
2000 Leipzig Film Festival
2000 Margaret Mead International Film Festival

54 minutes / color
Release: 2002
Copyright: 2000
Sale: $348

Subject areas:
Iran, Islam, Middle East, Politics, Women's Studies

Related Titles:
Fragments of a Revolution: A view of the Iranian Green Revolution protest movement, which followed Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's disputed 2009 election victory.

Shirin Ebadi: In-depth introduction to Nobel Peace Prize winner in her Tehran office, interwoven with speeches at international conferences and a visit to the children's center she founded.

Shi'ism: Across Iran, Lebanon and Iraq a cross-section of major contemporary Shiite figures discuss and debate the history, theology and values of this minority branch of Islam.

Iran, Veiled Appearances: Depicts clashes in modern Iran between extreme fundamentalism and young people who are pushing for social change, filming with soldiers, religious leaders, students, artists and intellectuals.

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