Ten (2002): June Blind Spot

Is it still June? Not on the Georgian calendar, but maybe the Mayan one? Yes, Ten, my pick for June Blind Spot arrives very late. What can I do, I’m only human. Luckily, this film has been well worth your wait.

Show of hands: how many Iranian films have been produced that shed light on what it means to be a woman in Iran? 1? 2? Maybe 5 at a push? I can’t imagine there would be many more. Nevertheless, I’m glad Ten was one of them.

Ten

Ten is my June Blind Spot | almostginger.com
© Seville Pictures

The film is told from two cameras somewhere on the dashboard of a car. One locked on the female taxi driver and the other on whoever is occupying the passenger seat. Unsurprisingly, she has 10 journeys with different women. The only exception is her son, who joins her on a couple of occasions.

The beginning of every journey is marked with an old film style countdown. The film is tightly structured and highly realistic. If only for the fact that all of these people were happy to be filmed I would have thought the film was a documentary. It’s verisimilitude is a testament to how ‘believable’ the representation of Iranian women is. We learn about the everyday lives they lead, busting some stereotypes in the process.

The women the female taxi driver encounters include her sister, who seems more orthodox in her view of women’s roles in Iranian society. For example, the sister wears a hijab to the taxi driver’s simple veil. She tries her best to hide her shock at her sister buying her husband a birthday cake at a bakery rather than make one herself.

Ten people, ten perspectives

Among the women is a prostitute. An elderly religious woman who prays three times a day, and a recently married woman who does something liberating towards the end of the film that I won’t spoil now. But the thread that holds the conversation together is the taxi driver’s relationship with her son. She went through a messy divorce (as I doubt there’s another kind for women who want to divorce their husband in Iran) and her son lives with her ex-husband and treats her poorly. She comes off as imperfect as any of us when she takes the abuse and her guilt keeps her quiet and allows him to continue.

The characterisation of the docufiction was just flawless, and I’ve never seen a film like this before, which is a sentence I love being able to say. The best bit, though? It just made me want to meet more women. More women from Iran, from Lebanon, from China, from Mongolia, from everywhere! I want to find out about who they really are rather than the image I’ve built in my head from the various sources.

This is why I watch these films, and Ten just isn’t enough.

Have you ever watched Ten before? Or another Iranian films about women? 

Want MORE?

Raise The Red Lantern (1991): August Blind Spot

Central Do Brasil (1998): September Blind Spot

Bicycle Thieves (1948): May Blind Spot

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Ten is my June Blind Spot | almostginger.com
© Seville Pictures

Rebecca

I'm the human and hair behind Almost Ginger. I'm a cinephile travel obsessive vegetarian currently residing in Manchester.

5 thoughts on “Ten (2002): June Blind Spot

  • July 14, 2016 at 7:30 pm
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    Great review. If you want to see more films from Iran I highly recommend the films of Jafar Panahi. In particular I recommend Offside, which is about a group of women trying to watch a football match, Taxi Tehran which is just a day in the life of citizens of Tehran (and is quite similar to Ten), and This Is Not A Film, which is more about Jafar Panahi himself, what’s interesting is that Taxi Tehran and This Is Not A Film were made after Panahi received a 20 year ban on making films after he was convicted of crimes against the state because of another film he planned to make. You can’t really go wrong with a Panahi film but those are the ones I recommend

    Reply
      • July 15, 2016 at 9:13 am
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        Thanks Tony! Watching Ten has definitely peaked my interest for Iranian cinema, as I hoped it would!

        Reply
  • July 27, 2016 at 11:52 am
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    I hadn’t heard of this until now and I really want to see it. Anything that shines alight on women in film, especially from countries that don’t usually do this.

    Great review – really want to see this.

    Reply
    • August 8, 2016 at 3:40 pm
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      If you can get a hold of it, I think it is a so-called important film. It’s not a long film, very easy to follow but gives you a hec of a lot to think about!

      Reply

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