First "X-rated" movie in Islamic Iran
Iran Weekly Press Digest
Iran's Culture Ministry put its first-ever X-rate on a home-made feature
movie after the 1979 Islamic revolution, the Tehran daily Entekhab reported
The film Massaeb Shirin (Sweet Problems), which deals with the
sexual problems of the young generation and suggests the controversial
Siqeh (temporary marriage) as alternative, shall only be allowed for people
over 18, the daily said.
"The culture ministry discussed the public screening of the film
and it was decided that only people over 18 should be allowed to watch
the movie," the film's director, Ali-Reza Davudnejad, told the daily.
Referring to the theme of the film, which deals with the economic problems
of the Iranian youth for starting a married life, he said that although
Siqeh is widely criticised, but it can solve the sexual needs of the youth.
"The sexual needs of the youth should not be ignored Siqeh is
a suitable alternative, although widely, but someone who is in some sort
of pain needs a tranquilizer and this is some sort of treatment,"
the director said.
Davudnejad is from the old Iranian film generation who also made commercial
movies before the revolution. His latest film has won an award at February's
International Fajr Film Festival in Tehran. A former film by the director,
Niaz (Need) had also won an award at the same festival.
The X-rate on the film is not for any immoral pictures but for the
theme of the film. In Iran, women are obliged to observe the Islamic dressing
code, which includes a long gown and scarf for covering body contours
and hair. The same regulations are also valid for films and the actors,
even in case of a mother and son, are in no way allowed to touch each other.
The economic problems of the youth in Iran made them almost unable
to start a married life and relations before marriage, including dating
in a public place, is legally forbidden and might lead to arrests, cash
fines and even lashing.
For overcoming this dilemma, spirituals and sociologists propose Siqeh,
the Persian term for temporary marriage, which is a highly disputed issue
in Iran with men welcoming and women detesting it. Siqeh is an old Shiite
Islamic custom in Iran in which a woman or a girl can become the wife
of a married or single Moslem man after a simple and brief religious ceremony.
The duration of the marriage is determined by the two sides. The Siqeh
can last for a night or as little as 30 minutes.
From the religious viewpoint there is no need for official registration
but Iranian law requires the couple to be registered in a notary office.
However, the bond is not recorded on identification cards. According
to the law, non-virgins do not need permission from their fathers, but
virgins must present their father's permission for this purpose./-