Lion Women: The Fight for Freedom in Iran

With the Iranian revolution of 1979 came the harsh imposition of Sharia law and the repression, persecution, state-sanctioned discrimination and murder of women. Over the last 30 years, the women’s fight for freedom and equality led to an inner awakening.

Release
2011  
Minutes
52  
Grade Level
S-C  
Format
DVD  

With the Iranian revolution of 1979 came the harsh imposition of Sharia law and the repression, persecution, state-sanctioned discrimination and murder of women. Over the last 30 years, the women’s fight for freedom and equality led to an inner awakening. In 2003, Shirin Ebadi became the first Muslim woman and the first Iranian citizen to receive the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize acknowledging her courageous efforts for democracy and human rights in Iran.

Her crowning achievement inspired Iranian women to begin what has become the most powerful movement
for reform in Iran’s history, the One Million Signature campaign. The bravery of these women is remarkable as they risk their lives to gain freedoms under one of the world’s most repressive regimes. Lion Women chronicles the untold story of the Iranian Women’s Movement and its fight for democracy and human rights.

The fight culminated in Teheran’s bloody streets in 2009 when the Lion Women were joined by hundreds of thousands protesting the controversial presidential election. For the first time, Iranian women reveal to the world their heartbreaking stories in this powerful documentary directed by filmmaker Gry Winther, who stood shoulder to shoulder with the Lion Women in Teheran amid the brutality and violence.

This film is not part of a series.

Reviews for this Film

From EMRO Online Date Entered: 8/8/2011

Lion Women documents the peaceful struggle Iranian women are waging to roll back some of that country’s most repressive laws. Since the overthrow of the Shah in 1979, women have had few rights, and the situation has worsened over the last four years. Parvin Adalan, Esha Momeini, and others have been working on collecting one million signatures in support of changing the ten worst laws. These women speak about the work they do and the persecution and obstacles they face.

Many had high hopes for the 2009 election, which showed a widespread desire for greater freedom. But, to borrow a line from Tom Stoppard, “it's not the voting that's democracy, it's the counting.” Ahmadinejad and the hard-liners stayed in power. The freedom of expression that was briefly allowed in the weeks preceding the election quickly disappeared.

The struggle continues, through the One Million Signatures Campaign, and through the courts. One of the women interviewed is Shirin Ebadi, winner of the Nobel Peace Prize in 2003. It’s poignant to see these lawyers work with so little legal recourse open to them, and to see the signature-collectors working despite their fear. This documentary is a fitting tribute to their heroism. The film gives sufficient background, but it focuses on their experiences rather than attempting to tell the modern political history of Iran.

The only technical issue I encountered was the prevalence of white subtitles on mostly-white backgrounds. At several points it was hard to read what was being said.

Recommended 


 

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