The Patience Stone

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Based on the award-winning novel by Atiq Rahimi (who also directs and co-writes), and co-scripted by legendary screenwriter Jean-Claude Carrière (writer of Buñuel’s Belle de Jour), The Patience Stone is a powerfully sensual film revealing the inner life of a young wife in an unnamed Middle Eastern country who must care for her comatose soldier husband. Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani (who is persona non grata in her native Iran for starring in Ridley Scott’s Body of Lies and posing nude in a French magazine) delivers an electrifying performance as “the woman,” blooming under the impassive gaze of a much older husband who, she believes, cannot see or hear her. Hoping desperately for his recovery, the young wife sits by her injured, unresponsive husband and confesses to a litany of abuses she has suffered at his hands, among others. Finally able to speak openly for the first time, she reveals her deepest secrets and sexual desires, setting the stage for a surprising and shocking turn of events. A bold story that captures a rarely seen female perspective, The Patience Stone reveals how, under the most extreme of circumstances, one conservative Middle Eastern woman discovers the core of her true identity. (Dir. by Atiq Rahimi, 2012, Afghanistan/France/Germany, in Farsi with subtitles, 98 mins., Rated R, Sony Pictures Classics) Digital