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Who Gives Kisses Freely From Her Lips
Simin Farkhondeh
41 minutes

Who Gives Kisses Freely From Her Lips

Inspired by the work of Sara Gomez and Cuban Imperfect Cinema, Who Gives Kisses Freely From Her Lips, weaves together fiction and documentary to tell the story of a filmmaker determined to make a film on temporary marriage, a taboo subject in Shia Iran. Salomé, conducts documentary interviews with real Iranians who have engaged in temporary marriage. They speak frankly about the pros and cons of this type of union as apposed to permanent marriage. In the process of learning about Salomé's alienation from the customs of her homeland, we learn about the complexities of the Shia' Islamic institution of temporary marriage.
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"Within Iran’s Islamic theocracy, a couple’s decision to live together without being married is a criminal action; however, a loophole of sorts, the sigheh (temporary marriage) can be used to allow young people to test the waters of matrimony, or older people who have lost their mates through divorce or death to enjoy limited companionship without a full commitment. Simin Farkhondeh’s documentary looks at this quirk of Iranian society, interviewing men and women who are either in the midst of this uncommon arrangement or have previously tried it. For women, the temporary marriage allows them to enjoy more civil rights than traditional marriage—one man glumly admits his sigheh wife became annoyed with him and arranged for a passport to leave the country, which she could not have done in a regular marriage. This fascinating look into a little-understood aspect of contemporary Iranian society is RECOMMENDED." - Video Librarian Magazine
"RECOMMENDED. Simon Farkhondeh combines fact and fiction to interesting effect in her film investigating temporary marriage in contemporary Iran. In Iran, according to Shia' Islamic custom, a single/divorced/widowed woman or a single/ /divorced/widowed or married man can opt for a trial marriage (ranging in as little time as a few days up to 99 years). This practice is held in disregard by some and applauded by others. Skeptics assert that the custom is used illicitly by ill intentioned men looking for affairs and some liken it to legalized prostitution (quite possibly underscored by the fact that men are allowed multiple simultaneous Sigheh wives - while women are only allowed one Sigheh husband at a time). Proponents offer that it is a reasonable way for couples to confidently test the potential for enduring success of a relationship. Either way, it is a very complex and layered negotiation rich in history and practice. The film successfully sheds light on an otherwise taboo topic and offers insight into one aspect of modern love in contemporary Iran. This film would benefit classes focused on women's studies, marriage and family, gender studies and Middle Eastern studies." - Winifred Fordham Metz, Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO)
"Offers an engaging introduction to this challenging subject, adeptly conveying the complexity of temporary marriage. WHO GIVES KISSES FREELY FROM HER LIPS provides a welcome complement to existing scholarly literature on temporary marriage, offering a rare glimpse into a fascinating aspect of the fast-changing landscape of Iranian sexual politics. This film is recommended for courses exploring issues of gender and sexuality in Islam and in the Middle East as well as those that consider feminism in a transnational perspective. The film would also contribute to courses on modern sex and sexuality, providing a neglected perspective on contemporary debates in feminist and queer theory concerning polyamory and other alternatives to traditional forms of heteronormative intimacy by challenging the idea of Western subjects as necessarily more "modern" or sexually liberated than others." - Juliet Williams, Films for the Feminist Classroom
• Middle East Studies Association Film Festival, 2009
• Association for Asian Studies, 2010

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