Price: $210.00

    Code: 2218

    Directed by Behnam Behzadi
    2003, 27 minutes
    Purchase: $210 Classroom Rental: $65

    Two young girls, sisters, walk across a barren landscape toward the salt springs. To pass the time, they talk about one of their classmates, a 14-year-old girl who was forced to marry a 73-year-old man.

    So begins this intimate documentary about the lives and dreams of two Iranian sisters. Using a seemingly straightforward approach, director Behnam Behzadi talks to the girls about their lives, their fears, and their aspirations, and questions their father about the options available to his young daughters. His five other daughters were married off before the age of 12.

    Both girls would like to get married in their early 20s so they can finish their education. They want to be teachers and doctors. Their father, listening to his daughters, supports them, and tells the filmmaker it's their choice. They can choose to stay in school and pursue their education for as long as they wish. But when the girls leave, he quickly expresses his true thoughts to the camera. The girls will stay in school only until a suitor comes along, then he will make them get married. His people, he explains, don't believe in giving too much freedom to their daughters ("otherwise, they may want an education and move away to a big city forever"). The girls, however, when they're away from their father, have a private message all their own - a secret plea to the filmmaker.

    Hide Your Words is a graceful and eloquent documentary about the plight of young girls in Iran and the reality of arranged marriages.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    * Winner, Jury Award for Short Film, Silverdocs Intl Film Festival, 2003
    * Official Selection, Intl Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam, 2003


    “Highly recommended! Cultural and generational clashes are hardly new, but Hide Your Words brings deeper resonance to these issues with its memorable portrait of a family and a nation at war with itself.” – Video Librarian

    “Reveals the contrasting views between the daughters and parents regarding the value of education and necessity of marriage... Recommended for discussion on Middle Eastern studies, gender equality, women’s education, women’s rights, and women and Islam.” – Educational Media Reviews Online

    “This moving documentary will generate reactions from viewers.” – School Library Journal