Iranian film that follows up, rather than re-enacts, the factual case of twin girls who were kept locked at home with their blind mother for twelve years, never let out, until the neighbors alerted the Welfare Department. Because the principals play themselves, the film never loses its air of documentary, even after it comes out of a lengthy opening stretch of fuzzy, jiggly video. The identity of the director, Samira Makhmalbaf, the not quite twenty-year-old daughter of director Mohsen Makhmalbaf (Gabbeh), carries a built-in feminist statement. But the film itself, much more interesting in concept than in actuality, is almost inert. 1998.

Duncan Shepherd

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