United states Institute for Yemeni Studies
2007, 76 moments, color. Made by Women Make films, 462 Broadway, fifth Floor, nyc, NY 10013, http: //www. Wmm.com
Four Wives—One guy is fundamentally about a family that is polygynous rural Iran. It starts with two penned statements: “The Quran: ‘Marry two, three, or four spouses when you can pay for sic it, ’” and “In Iran polygamy is available primarily in rural areas. ” These are followed closely by a scene that is spectacular of and young ones joking and playing on a golden mountain of recently harvested grain adam 4 adam. The movie continues with photographic shots of each and every associated with the four spouses, associated with noise bites of these voices that are own on their own. Finally, the husband is seen by us, Heda. Standing close to him is his son, subtly parodying their daddy’s stance, but there’s no associated noise bite to introduce him. Alternatively, we hear their old and motthe woman that is feisty her son as only thinking about intercourse. Doubting Heda the introduction that is formal his spouses is an inspired cinematic put?down of a distressing character and a reversal associated with the typical training of presenting guys, yet not ladies, by title.
The movie’s message is apparently the problem that is universal polygynous households—a guy who marries an extra spouse tends to lose curiosity about their very first spouse. The second wife and third wife each blames her unhappiness on the next wife, as if she herself had not upstaged an earlier wife as the wives continue to compete for Heda’s attention. Repeatedly, they scapegoat each other. The wife that is fourth Heda as good husband and declares, “I do not be sorry for having hitched Heda, but i really do be sorry for having hitched a guy with three spouses. ” Just Heda’s mom along with his very first spouse blame him for behaving irresponsibly. Heda is actually and verbally abusive, relentlessly arguing and teasing together with spouses, and threatening to marry all over again. He treats their kiddies approximately. But we additionally see him using their household for a picnic, tenderly cradling a new child that is sleeping having fun with their toddler, being affectionate together with his 4th spouse.
Regardless of their unhappiness, the ladies aren’t presented as passive victims. The next, 3rd, and 4th spouses had been divorced if they came across Heda. They explain their initial reluctance to marry an already married man. Just the wife that is second forced to marry him by her moms and dads. One other two married Heda against their moms and dads’ desires. Most of the spouses operate for their husband once they feel necessary. The wife that is first not a problem permitting Heda understand of her annoyance with him. We hear their spouses scold him for their financial errors and for ignoring their young ones. One spouse defends her child’s gown whenever Heda accuses her of immodesty. Even though the spouses complain loudly of Heda’s multiple marriages, everyday life one of them includes scenes full of laughter and shared help in addition to bitter disputes.
Theoretically, numerous elements of this movie are aesthetically stunning. Its energy as ethnography is based on its depiction of rural life that is domestic. Material culture fans will take pleasure in its footage that is extraordinary of bread, family members meals, carpeting weaving, furniture, livestock care, a family group picnic, and females performing their frustrations because they work. A essential thread operating through the very first 1 / 2 of the movie may be the incessant bawdy humor among household members, including Heda’s senior mom. Not merely is it funny, however it humanizes its subjects and provides a glimpse that is rare the frank banter and humor this is certainly therefore typical within families at the center East. The behavior and assertiveness of this females contradict typical stereotypes associated with the Muslim girl as target (cf. Laila Lalami, “The Missionary Position, ”The Country, June 19, 2006). On a few occasions, Heda’s spouses freely question their monetary judgment. Ziba asks Heda setting the table while a water is smoked by her pipeline. On another event, he assists himself to tea. Demonstrably, his four spouses try not to constantly provide him.