Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Glass House (2009)

Hamid Rahmanian


Growing up can be hard under ideal circumstances, but for young women in Iran, a male-dominated society where a female's rights and opportunities are compromised from birth, growing into an emotionally healthy adult can be profoundly difficult. Iranian expatriate Marjaneh Halati has opened an outreach center for teenage women in Tehran, where they can speak to counselors and receive training that can help them deal with the crises they face. Filmmaker Hamid Rahmanian offers a telling portrait of four of the young women who have come to Halati's center for help in the documentary The Glass House. Mitra is sixteen years old and growing up in a violent household where her father will beat her for talking back to him, and she's come to the center looking for help in conflict resolution while learning to express herself through her fiction. Nazila is nineteen and has found an outlet for the anger she feels about her life as a rapper; however, her family forbids her to record her music and her outspoken rhymes would almost certainly never be aired in Iran. At twenty, Sussan has been the subject of physical and emotional abuse for much of her life, and repeated beatings have left her with brain damage and memory loss. And Samira is trying to deal with an addition to drugs that was inflicted upon her by her own family. The Glass House received its American premiere at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival.


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