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Date of birth
6 September 1960, Tabriz, Iran
Director | Writer | Producer
Selected filmography of
Tahmineh Milani (September 6th, 1960, Tabriz, Iran)
After graduating in architecture from the University of Science and Technology in Tehran in 1986, she apprenticed as a script girl and an assistant director following a screen workshop in 1979.
Milani started her career as a movie director with Children of Divorce in 1989. Milani is known for touching controversial and sensitive issues, including women's rights and the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
The majority of Milani's films involve brave women who suffer under oppressive regimes. Her early films resembled fables, such as her 1990 offering Efsanye-e Ah (The Legend of a Sigh) which featured a character who, after failing as an author, befriends her sigh of despair.
The sigh goes on to teach her of women with much larger problems in the world, yet still remain happy. Two years later, in Dige Che Khabar (What Did You Do Again?), Milani told the story of a young girl with the power to change her family simply by talking to herself.
Iranian censors fought against the film, instructing her to replace the female lead with a young boy instead.
Hard-line conservatives accused Milani of encouraging women to revolt against the current system. She deflected the criticisms, insisting that the men were merely scared of seeing their own wives riot because of her films.
Milani has received admirations and prizes for her movies especially for Two Women and "The 5th Reaction".
In her later films, Milani adopted a more melodramatic style and focused more on gender issues and her female characters became the subject of intense oppression and discrimination.
The government charged Milani as an anti-revolutionary due to the storyline of her 2001 anti-revolutionary film Nimeh-e Pinhan (The Hidden Half), which revolved around a leftist university student against the regime of Shah Mohammad Rezā Shāh Pahlavi.
The film's primary love story also drew criticism, for its depiction of the main character's relationship with an elderly man.
Despite receiving permission to produce the film from the reformist Khatami government, she was imprisoned in 2001.
A backlash from many world-famous directors including Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese caused the government to release her after two weeks, but official charges were never dropped.
Milani's 2005 film Unwanted Woman tells the story of a woman forced to cover up a journey with her friend because of a law that bans travel for unmarried couples.
Vajonesh Panjom (The Fifth Reaction) is the story of a woman who leaves her wealth, home, and children after the death of her husband. While often exaggerated for cinema-goers, the films topics draw clear parallels to life in a theocratic Iran.
Milani believes that Iran's most-pressing problem is an identity crisis, claiming that Iranian men and women lead double lives. Faced with public extremism, each is forced to adopt separate lifestyles for the home and the public eye.
In 2007, Milani announced that she was going to make an AIDS-focussed TV series for the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting with the title The Positive Pals Club.
Filmography (as a director)
1989 Bach'che'hā-ye Talāgh (Children of Divorce)
1991 Afsāneh-ye Āh (The Legend of Sigh)
1992 Digeh che khabar? (What Else Is New?)
1999 Do Zan (Two Women)
2001 Nimeh-ye Penhān (The Hidden Half)
2003 Vākonesh-e Panjom (The Fifth Reaction)
2005 Zane Ziyādi (The Unwanted Woman)
2006 Ātash Bas (Cease Fire)
2007 Tasvieh Hesāb (Settling Scores)
Untaken Paths | Rah’haye narafteh (2017)
Super Star (2009)
Cease Fire - Atash bas (2006)
The Unwanted Woman - Zane Ziadi (2005)
The Fifth Reaction - Vakonesh panjom (2003)
The Hidden Half - Nimeh-ye penhan (2001)
Two Women - Do Zan (1999)
The Legend of a Sigh | Afsane-ye-ah (1991)
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