In a war ridden country a woman watches over the husband reduced to a vegetable state by a bullet in the neck, abandoned by Jihad companions and brothers. One day, the woman decides to say things to him she could never have done before.
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Somewhere, in Afghanistan or elsewhere, in a country torn apart by a war... A young woman in her thirties watches over her older husband in a decrepit room. He is reduced to the state of a vegetable because of a bullet in the neck. Not only is he abandoned by his companions of the Jihad, but also by his brothers. One day, the woman decides to tell the truth to him about her feelings about their relationship to her silent husband. She talks about her childhood, her suffering, her frustrations, her loneliness, her dreams, her desires... She says things she could never have done before, even though they have been married for the past 10 years. Therefore, this paralyzed man unconsciously becomes syngue sabour, a magic stone which, according to Persian mythology, when placed in front of a person shields her from unhappiness, suffering, pains and miseries. In this wait for her husband to come back to life, the woman struggles to survive and live. She finds refuge in her aunt's place, who is... Written by
The Patience Stone is based on an old Persian fable about a stone to whom one can confide all one's problems and worries. Here though the stone is an Afghan man, reduced to a vegetable state by the war. His wife (Golshifteh Farahani) uses his inability to comprehend and talk back to tell him things that she would not dare to say otherwise. With his disability she's been left to feed herself, her two children and continue buying medicine to keep her husband alive. The only job available for an Afghan woman in her desperate situation it seems is prostitution.
Atiq Rahimi has directed from his own novel. He wrote the script with the renowned veteran screen writer Jean-Claude Carrierre. It is, I feel, a story best suited to theatre with its long monologues. The film however, belongs to and is carried by Golshifteh Farahani's magnificent performance. This is a very tough role where she has to, for most part, talk to a body lying motionless and unresponsive on the ground, unable to engage in any dialogue. A poetic film which is not for all tastes but which will richly reward those who appreciate its form and messages.
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