A woman obsessed with helping others nearly destroys a young woman's life in this drama from Iran. Rezvan (Soraya Ghasemi), the middle-aged wife of successful businessman Haji (Faramarz Sedighi), is a woman who devotes most of her time and energy to charity work, though her obsessive desire to impress others with her selflessness has convinced Haji that she's more concerned with the opinions of her friends than in doing good works. While collecting funds for the survivors of a devastating earthquake, Rezvan comes up with an idea that she's convinced will top the efforts of all her friends -- she will persuade Haji to take a woman who lost her family in the disaster as a temporary wife while she arranges to find her a new home and a permanent husband. Rezvan's friends are surprised, and Haji is convinced his wife has gone too far until he meets Maral (Hadis Fouladvand), the shy but beautiful young woman Rezvan has brought into their home. Haji soon finds himself becoming strongly attracted to Maral, which embarrasses and mortifies the young woman and sends Rezvan into a fit of rage; hoping to drown Haji's desire for the woman, Rezvan tells him that Maral is pregnant with a child fathered by the fiancé she lost in the earthquake. Word spreads outside the household, however, and in their fundamentalist Muslim community, it proves to have dire consequences for the innocent Maral. Maral had its North American debut at the 2001 San Francisco Film Festival.
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