How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish?

Mania Akbari’s essay about the role of women in Iranian society through their representation in Iranian cinema is as brilliant as how powerful and refined her montage work of more or less rare archive footage is. The film develops as an almost scientific demonstration, which is well balanced by Akbari’s own subjectivity, for which she chooses the form of her body’s exposition. The history– with a precisely documented crescendo – of the marginalisation, submission, humiliation, privatisation, and suppression of women echoes in her exposed and wounded body. Hapticity and vulnerability paradoxically counterbalance the inventory of violence of Patriarchalism.

Moreover, How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish? also contains a rare and precious – if somewhat indirect – demonstration: that the Revolution did not really oppose the Occidental commodification of women on which the collection of pre-Revolution film material abundantly insist. On the contrary, thanks to the sharp division of private and public spheres – another quite Occidental heritage – it continued and intensified women’s commodification. This aspect of “Occidental” continuity between pre- and post-revolutionary periods is probably the crucial learning point of this accurate historical reconstruction through the women’s perspective, which naturally enhances its universal significance.


How Dare You Have Such a Rubbish Wish? | Film | Mania Akbari | IRN-UK 2022 | 72’ | Black Movie Festival Genève 2023

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First published: February 10, 2023