Since 1992, Iranian director Dariush Mehrjui has been consistently making films with female protagonists, often using their names as the title of these films. He made Banu in 1992, but was not permitted to release it until 1998. Banu is a claustrophobic film about a middle-aged and rather depressive woman whose husband is always away. Her solitary life gives her the opportunity for introspection. One day, she finds out that her husband has started living with another woman. Confrontation leads to confession and he moves out of the house. Her initial bitterness is soon turned into a sense of relief. She begins to notice people around her and befriends a gardener and his sick wife who are homeless due to a building demolition. The arrival of the couple brings drastic changes to her life. The film was inspired by events that occurred in the director's daily life. Although there are certain similarities to Buñuel or Ibsen, the director claims that these are "purely thematic." Banu was screened at the International Forum of New Cinema section of the 49th Berlin Film Festival, 1999.
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