Sally field stars as Betty Mahmoody, an American woman who is married to an Iranian and is foolish enough to visit Iran in 1084. The direction is heavy handed, uneven and never develops the schizophrenic behavior of her husband who moves from tender lover to terrorizer of his wife and child as soon as he lands in Tehran. He is insulted in America and his family in Iran are devout Islamics but his change is complete and sudden and difficult to accept.
Betty Mahmoody is a brave woman who suffered in hell for two years. The film makes it easy to dislike and hate the ways of the Middle East but any society which places one group of people over another with ultimate control is alien to Americans who have great latitude where individual rights are concerned. In this story it is women who have no rights. They must do as their husbands direct.
The film frames her beautiful home and life in America, the insanity of a political religious society, her daring escape and some brave Iranians who help her,
The film beats so hard at the audience with its theme of Betty's repression and suppression it loses some of the sympathetic emotion it attempts to achieve, but in the last scene, when she finally sees the American flag, it grabs you with the relief and emotion she must have felt to finally be free.
|Not Without My Daughter||C||C+||C|