How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish
Mania Akbari / IR, GB, 2022 / 72 min.
Excerpts spanning Iranian film history show that women have always been oppressed, also in the years before the Islamic Revolution. Undaunted, Mania Akbari takes on the male gaze in this confrontational essay.
Prominent filmmaker, artist and actress Mania Akbari reclaims her body—and that of all the other women in Iranian film. Using almost a hundred excerpts spanning Iran's film history, from the silent era to just after the Islamic Revolution—films that have all since been banned—she tells a story of liberation, exploitation, emancipation and ultimately oppression.
Dancing women, women eager to marry, intoxicated women, women in underwear, running women in short dresses: all filmed from a male perspective, with a male gaze. Even in the free years before the revolution, we were oppressed, Akbari points out powerfully in this confrontational essay.
The excerpts, which take on a more documentary character around the period of the revolution, are interspersed with shots of Akbari herself, who is getting a floral tattoo on her breasts. In the voice-over she addresses the male directors: “I’m not making a film, I’m gazing into your gaze.”
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