Women's Prison

  • 106'
  • Iran
  • 2002
Women's Prison covers two decades, from soon after the Islamitic Revolution of 1979 until the 1990s. In this period, in the women's prison, we see both the prisoners change - and especially the nature of their crimes and the guard, Tahereh. Tahereh was employed as a woman with strong religious convictions to suppress a rebellion in the jail. Her harsh and dogmatic approach is only partly successful. Gradually she becomes more resigned and indifferent. She has to keep confronting the prisoners, but the world outside also confronts her with obstacles. This finally results in the release of Mitra, a rebellious prisoner who has been given a life sentence for the murder of her stepfather.Manijeh Hekmat uses the microcosm of the women's jail as a metaphor for Iranian society. One actress plays three different roles: first as a political prisoner who never finds out what she was sentenced for, then as drug addict and finally as prostitute.After two years research and plenty of bureaucratic hurdles, Hekmat was given permission to film in a real jail. When the film was finished, the authorities prevented it being screened abroad for a year. In Iran, a cinema screening Women's Prison was set alight by persons unknown.
Manijeh Hekmat
Country of production
Production Year
Festival Edition
IFFR 2003
Original title
Zendan-e zanan
Bamdad Film, Omid Films, Manijeh Hekmat
Iranian Independents