Bani-etemad is one of five woman directors now active in Iran's feature film industry. Nargess, her fourth feature, pushes the limits, both of Iran's strict censorship laws and our expectations, in being an exceptionally sensitive portrayal of two very different women and a sympathetic treatment of characters who live outside of Islamic law, on the margins of Iranian society. Nargess is both gangster movie and tragic love triangle, and yet is neither one of these. Ostensibly the tale of a feckless young man who leaves his lover, Afagh, once an underworld beauty, for the younger, more virtuous Nargess, it is really the story of the women themselves, who one day meet. "Set in the milieu of people suffering the oppression of poverty, Bani-etemad's female perspective has produced a story of the further oppression suffered by women. The characters and lives of Afagh and Nargess are drawn intelligently...and the final sequence...provides an undeniable sense of the possibilities and challenge of women's solidarity." (Sheila Whitaker, London Film Festival)

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