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Rakhshan Bani Etemad
Tuba is a woman laborer who works in a textile factory in Iran. As the election campaign for the National Assembly hits the road, a broadcaster stops Tuba for a ‘man-on-the-street’ interview. Tuba stammers, and the camera begins to turn away from her but Tuba finally opens her mouth and starts her speech.
Tuba works hard in hopes of living a better life with her family. However, her surroundings are not that favorable. Abbas, her eldest son, is obsessed with the vain dream of going to Japan, earning lots of money, and in doing so changing the fortunes of his family with one stroke. Her husband is too sick to give her any emotional comfort. Her eldest daughter’s troubles with her husband become an unbearable burden. A close friend of Tuba’s younger daughter runs away from home, unable to withstand her father’s violence. It is entirely Tuba’s job to maintain her family as a community by overcoming all the difficulties, while maintaining her spirit. However, what awaits her is a thick wall in a society where women are denied a voice. On Election Day, Tuba once again stands before the camera and speaks out, this time in anger. “At one time I was told to tolerate the war; at other times to have hope. But now I have lost my home and am about to lose my family, too. And all you people do is just shoot a film.” Under the Skin of the City is an intricate portrayal of the lives of the lower class, as manifested by Tuba’s family. A masterpiece of Iranian neo-realism. (Nam In-young)
Rakhshan Bani EtemadRakhshan Bani Etemad
Born in 1954 in Iran, Rakhshan Bani Etemad made documentaries till 1986. After that, she made features including Off the Limits (1987), Foreign Currency (1989), The May Lady (1998) and Baran & the Native (1999).