Thought on the film The Circle.

by Margaux L. on Novembre 4, 2014 - 5:55am

"A stunning drama about the desperate state of women in Iran" said the famous Wall Street Journal (13/04/2001) about The Circle.

Several protagonist, all women, follow each other all along the film. One after another, the spectators reconsider the place of women in Iran : restrictions, difficulties to exist as a human being, feminine suffering, gender inequality. One of the most significant examples is when a woman says to another one “Without a man you can’t go anywhere” meaning no freedom of moving, and imply that they are quite nothing if a male doesn’t escorted them. This makes them being an inferior in social status and dependent of the father, the brother or the husband. It’s a men world.

Inasmuch as a comparison can be made, men play also a prominent role in Western countries : they are more present in the higher realms, and in the sphere of influence like the government even if it is changing, but, women seem to have much more possibility of actions and have more freedom. For instance, at the beginning of the film, when the grand-mother learn the newborn baby is a girl and not a boy as the ultrasounds asserted, she became worried, almost ashamed. What does the in-laws will think? In fact the place of man and women are clearly define. On the contrary, in France it is not a big deal to have a girl or a boy.
It also a history of influence, how the country build up itself, the place of religion in the government and in th cultural life. The Iranian director Jafar Panahi consider the situation of woman in his own country, denounce and criticizes, but we also see some moment where the people help each other, like when a women pretending to be a student in order to get a ticket, and the seller give it to her even if she is not escorted by a man. Gender, It’s on mentalities, a part of History.

Some parts can shock, but we must say that the condition of women in Iran is changing. Since the film was made, the Iranian Shirin Ebqdi had receive the Nobel Peace Prize for her implication in human rights notably women and children rights, for example.

In France, we have an expression which is “la boucle est bouclée”. It means “the circle comes back around” or literally “the circle is circled”. Like in the film, when, whatever protagonist is it, the situation is the same for every women. At the beginning like at the end, the situation did not change.

About the author

Hi! My name is Margaux,I study History and Journalism at Versailles, France. I'm currently in Erasmus year at the Universität Potsdam. I choose this class because I have a great interest in writing article and also the subject was interesting.