A Stunning Film: The Patience Stone
Filmed in Morocco, starring the Iranian actress, Goldshifteh Farahani, it runs 98 minutes and rated R for sexual situation. What is unique besides the four star performance of the Iranian actress is that it was Afghanistan's first entry into the foreign film competition and won.
The movie is a confessional for the wife of a wounded comatose husband that is 15-20 yrs. her senior. She has two small girls to care for, alone in a dingy home, in war torn Afghanistan. It reminded me of Redford's, " All is Lost" and other films where the main character is really the ONLY one. The actress has the burden to carry the film, for without her, there is none. To some viewers, this may sound boring, having only a few actors in the film that have a role, but it is her confessions that reveal her love-hate of her husband and how the Muslim world is from a woman under the burka. While she fights to make ends meet to buy an IV drip of sugar and salt for her husband's survival, the war arrives at the town and more radical armed Islamists arrive.
At one point, she must pretend she is prostitute by stating so in order that men will leave her alone from rape. Muslim men only want virgin holes, not ones that have been "soiled".
Like many Muslim women, she was abused by her husband mentally and physically, but we only hear of this through the dialogue confession-like while she talks to the husband. She tells us of her story since her forced marriage to him and how she felt as a person, a woman. She loves him yet hates him and does not forgive him, not really. This is her way of life.
Then, a young warrior arrives to take her up on her claim that she is a prostitute. He has lots of money that she does not. At first, she refuses and tells him to go away. But, she really does need money to get new IV's for her husband. After having sex several times, she now knows what it is like to make love to a man that really cares about her. With this revelation, she verbally lashes out at her comatose husband filled with spite and hurt.
When she goes out into public, she puts on the burka with angst or annoyance. Her attitude conveyed is, "why do I have to do this, men don't". So, when she is in her home, off it goes totally in rebellion and she looks like any pretty woman. When she goes to her aunt's, a prostitute for help, she does not spit on her but applies some of the makeup and looks in the mirror to see potential.
The movie continues evolving as she tells her husband many deep secrets he did not know because it is safe. She is venting, getting even. Clearly, she would like a different life and real love. Whenever she feels guilty, she runs to the Koran for guidance, yet, finds the same book very biased against women, enslaving them under a cloak of religion. She is never satisfied with it.
As a viewer, you keep wondering how is this going to end? He wakes up? He dies? She dies? It is the end that reminds me of the Hitchcock technique that is an eye opener in the simplest terms, so it is shocking. As she sits next to him telling him that she was NOT a virgin when he married her, he slowly awakens and hear this and other confessionals.Clearly, he is angry but unable to do much but grab a dagger and in a second stabs her in a struggle.She is not dead and he is weak. She grabs the dagger and finally murders him.
Her anger is released. Go see this amazing film.