89 minutes, Iran, 2002, Colour, 35mm

Shot on two digital cameras placed on the dashboard of a car, Ten is considerably more complex than its simple set-up suggests. Driven by artist and writer Mania Akbari, the film records her conversations with several passengers as she takes them around Tehran.

Except for her young son Amin, with whom she has a combative relationship as a result of her recent divorce from his father, all of Mania’s passengers are women, some of whom she knows, some of whom she appears to have picked up en route. Consequently, as they journey through the city, the film becomes document and testimony of the experiences of women who live there. (Notes by Alice Butler.)

This event is part of Beyond the Bechdel Test, our season throughout July focusing on the work of directors who have explored the complex ties between women that are an integral aspect of the films’ narratives, named after the American cartoonist Alison Bechdel who introduced the idea in her 1985 comic strip.

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