This topic is part of the 2012 MUBI World Cup. If you have not already done so, please read the first post at the topic for an introduction to and rules about this year’s World Cup:
The purpose of this topic is to cast votes in the matchup listed above and also to be a forum for discussing the films in the match.
Anyone who has seen both of the films listed above may vote in this match. You must vote for whichever of the two films you personally like better. In order to vote you must post a reply to this topic containing one of the following sequences:
If you are voting for Leila: “Iran (Leila) 1 – New Zealand (In My Father’s Den) 0”
If you are voting for In My Father’s Den: “Iran (Leila) 0 – New Zealand (In My Father’s Den) 1”
Your vote must contain the names of both films with a “one” after the film you are voting for and a “zero” after the other film. If your vote is not formatted in this way it will not be counted.
Along with your vote you are strongly encouraged to leave additional comments regarding your reactions to the films, your reasons for why you voted the way you did, and responses to other participants’ comments. Being able to have deep discussion about the films and different aspects of them is an important part of finding enjoyment in participating in the World Cup.
This match will end on Sunday, August 19 at 10:30 PM GMT. No votes attempted to be cast after that time will be counted. Shortly after the match ends the votes will be tallied and a winner of the match will be declared. If the films both receive the same number of votes, the match will be considered a tie.
The percentage of votes each film receives in a match will have an effect on whether or not the corresponding country will participate in the final round of the World Cup. Thus even if the film you vote for loses in this match, your vote will still be important.
The results of the matches as well as the schedule for future matches can be found here:
If you would like to participate but are unable to find sources to watch these films, please send me a personal message so that I can invite you to the private website featuring internet links to view the films.
Sorry it got started late. It will end a half hour later than normal.
ok there are no links for these films. i’ve watched leila on netflix instant watch and it’s very good. the other film looks interesting too. riss, after this weekend i should be around more and can help out; maybe even figure out how to upload films if needed xD does anyone know if angel has plans for this one?
I PM’ed Angel.
I have uploaded leila there is a problem with subs which have to be converted to another format for uploading as captions and won’t be done til i get home
Fathers den is uploading now
Many submit t ers have not fulfilled their uploading commitments/or seen to accessibility issues hence it,s often rushed and now getting behind
Sorry I’ve been really preoccupied too and let the slack go. I hope to have some time this weekend and hopefully can get a bunch up to get ahead of the game again.
s’ok riss, we know there’s a lot of work involved. i’ll try to help out however i can from next week on.
let’s not let the cup die when we’ve gotten this far!
we’ll get u a trophy like this for a wedding gift ;)
I can do some uploading if people will send me some files through a we transfer or something. My only problem is downloading in the first place.
Angel did advise he would .nt be able to do den i meant to do it at that time but forgot about it :(
Iran (Leila) 1 – New Zealand (In My Father’s Den) 0
I’m sorry I haven’t uploaded “In My Father’s Den”, as I said before I have no copy in my hands. Anyway, I think it’s a recent movie with good distribution and it can be easily found out there.
Both films are now uploaded. And there are good prospects of getting a lot more up soon to get ahead of the game again.
Don’t worry. I won’t let the cup die. Hopefully we won’t have any more problems with film availability any more either though.
I would love that trophy Ruby! I would love that trophy Ruby! Actually, I put a globe on our wedding registry so if you want to buy us a wedding gift that somehow still connects with the world cup some way that might be it! :)
Go Lelia! I submitted this excellent, hard examination of the truth about being female in a place like Iran. So many stories like this have come out of there and while many more probably will, sine not much has changed, the sad truth is that most of the stories will go unheard.
Its been a pet project of mine to spotlight injustice in Iran, a place of beauty, wonderful people, incredibly bold films, and harsh oppression. I hope you all find something to take out of it.
Sorry I haven’t been participating more. I’ve had a rough year. Things are looking up though, and none of my problems compare to those faced by the woman in Lelia.
Leila – This was a very interesting film because it wasn’t really as serious in tone as it appears to be at first glance. It’s actually a clever and humorous critique on the system of polygamy as well as the character study of a good hearted woman who wants to please everyone and is possibly naive to do so but in the end fortunately everything falls in place for her or at least that’s what it appears to be. It’s very Maupassantian in the way it evokes conflicting emotions about its characters and I simply loved that.
In My Father’s Den : Didn’t like this much but I was happy to see a film from New Zealand.
Unfortunately, the New Zealand film is spoiled by the very melodramatic twists of the Maurice Gee novel it is based on. Therefore, the more honest and authentic treatment of the Iranian film wins the day.
I found In My Father’s Den a little heavy-going, but i found Leila engrossing, thanks in no small part to the touching central performance.
Leila’s insistence on following the wishes of her selfish step-mother was frustrating and inevitably headed to marital break-down. I found that (apparent) weakness or fault irritating, her sense that she knew best for her husband and was serving his interests, when deep down- as events proved- he would rather have preserved his marriage than destroy it to have a child. And it was unlikely once he’d started on the new dating process he would not meet someone to suit.
So, a path of sad inevitability in which despite my frustration with Leila, i increasingly felt her pain- more so than the husband who i also wanted to stand up to his mother. The twists at the end changed things to a more positive outlook. Patience getting some reward, apparently the destiny of virtue. The Step-mother’s reaction to the birth of a girl and some characters’ asides to camera lighten the atmosphere, though i wouldn’t go so far as to call it comic. The film raises interesting issues of gender and social customs, while the outcome brings to the fore destiny, and seems to partly vindicate willingness to suffer while keeping faith in some unknowable force.
Kenji has captured my own feelings re Leila. I, too, grew frustrated with Leila’s continual giving-in to her persistent mother-in-law. Could no one stand up to this head-strong woman? In one late scene, we see that even the husband’s own father is fed up with everyone giving into his wife. Although Leila is seen as completely powerless in this situation and humiliated to boot, the power is not in the hands of her husband, either. Both become victims to the older woman’s insistence on having an heir – going completely contrary to the wishes of her son and daughter-in-law.
The mood of this film is completely different to the other Mehrjui film I saw for a previous Directors’ Cup – The Pear Tree. The Pear Tree was a more subtle, more effective film for me. This one seemed to be trying a bit too hard to make a social statement, when we get the point quite early on. I did think the final lines of Leila had a heavy dose of irony, as she watches the young daughter of her husband. Leila reflects that someday, when the daughter is old enough to understand, that she may laugh at the story of how she came into this world strictly at the insistence of her grandmother – who seems the only one to really want her. Sad commentary, really.
In My Father’s Den could have been a better film if it had not chosen to be a bit too heavy-handed in getting its points across. The treatment is complex, as the narration goes back and forth with flashbacks to earlier occurrences, but it all becomes a bit sticky to sort out. I lost some of the dialogue due to the thick New Zealand accents, too. We only really get to understand the character of Paul and all the other characters are ciphers, except for the young girl, Celia, we originally think might be his daughter. Nothing is really fleshed out and motivation for the characters’ actions are vague and undefined. A bit too episodic to be that involving for me.
Iran (Leila) 0 – New Zealand (In My Father’s Den) 1
Didn’t like Leila so much which I thought was compromised by attempts at comedy, weak support cast, the “fourth wall” stuff and so on…and yes it was frustrating watching Leila (I actually thought Leila Hatami was miscast looking too fine and strong in face and bearing to be convincing as so utterly devoid of self esteem)… though I did have deepest sympathy for all and was able to enter into the perspective of each character even the mother, but it felt like I had to struggle and sidestep things to hang onto that. Nevertheless I may well have voted for it but for the marshmallow ending which I didn’t like at all.
Frustration would have been legitimate if it was against Leila’s husband who is primarily to blame. After all, it was his mother who was troubling his wife. He should have taken a stand but he takes the easy way out by reasoning that he is against a second marriage in principle but doesn’t seem to have any real objection to get married again. He blames Leila that she is forcing him to get married which isn’t the case at all. There would have been no problem if he had made sure that there was no mental harassment made to his wife in the first place. He doesn’t do this because how much ever he may deny, he basically wants a child and Leila complicates the matter by refusing to adopt one.
I knew people would have a problem with this film’s ending. I guess its tough for people to believe in good things happening to good people. Kenji sums up the ending nicely in his post : The film raises interesting issues of gender and social customs, while the outcome brings to the fore destiny, and seems to partly vindicate willingness to suffer while keeping faith in some unknowable force.
Leila was willing to use the girl, and make sport about the women she was willing to let come into what she knew could only be a disaster for them because she could not step up to the plate within herself, look in the mirror and say “you are enough”.. Reza did his best to convince her but it is incredibly wearing having a marriage with someone who has decided they are too flawed to love, to be worthy, and have shut down completely as Leila did. I thought the film did its best to convey strongly Reza did not want a child but that he felt cornered and actually really did see the path he was bullied into as the only way to keep Leila in his life, she was slipping away from him, that was the source of his trauma, his mother’s carping was incidental. Leila’s perception of his need was so strong it overrode his expressed truth time and again, she could not hear it, and I could understand him thinking, if I do this it might quell her anguish on my behalf – which appears to be what is driving her away from me – and bring her back.
When you live in a joint conservative family, the daughter in law cannot say NO to her in-law’s. She is brought up by her parent’s telling her to respect her in-law’s. It is the duty of the husband to support his wife in such matters. Luckily for Leila, she is in an educated and well-to-do family. Imagine her plight if it wasn’t the case. I guess people from the liberal western society have a difficulty in understanding the social tensions faced by Leila in this film.
“Leila’s perception of his need was so strong it overrode his expressed truth time and again, she could not hear it, and I could understand him thinking, if I do this it might quell her anguish on my behalf”
I agree with criticism of Leila’s overriding his genuine feelings, due partly to her own low self-image as well as projecting onto him rather than trusting him, but i feel he too should have had the strength to resist and convince her. They ended up going down a path neither wanted, with predictable results only partly offset by the ending. And yes, it was unfair to involve a new wife while he still had such strong feelings for Leila, and was bound to have regrets. I find the developments and issues very interesting.
There was also the point that it would have been a very different matter, and handled very differently, if he had been infertile. Ironically it’s a woman, the step-mother, who pushes the sexist line of a woman’s place to provide children for the privileged man (and only son), or step aside and sacrifice herself, while Leila’s step-father tries to persuade against it. Although the film – or the couple’s behaviour- was frustrating at times, it is quite rich thematically, and the ending opens up new questions.
shouldn’t this match be closed now? or is it open an extra day due to lack of streaming links
yes I reckon it should have closed at 8.30 my time ruby and it’s now 8.49
u want to do it or shall i xD
I think it started a bit late so has been given the extra time, should finish shortly- or was this already taken into account in the 10:30 GMT final whistle?
yes usually it’s up at 10. so final tally iran 5 – new zealand 1
there doesn’t seem to be a proper coat of arms since the pahlavi dynasty was overthrown in 1979 islamic revolution as i think european symbols of heraldry are rather frowned upon? anyway there is an anthem
Upwards on the horizon rises the Eastern Sun
The light in the eyes of the Believers in Truth
The Month of Bahman is the brilliance of our faith.
Your message, O Imam, of independence, and freedom, is imprinted on our souls
O Martyrs! Your clamours echo in the ears of time:
Enduring, continuing, and eternal,
The Islamic Republic of Iran
“It is the duty of the husband to support his wife in such matters”
Well.. that would have meant going against Leila’s express wishes, it simply was not that straightforward for Reza. Trying to stay within the confines of what the film was showing, and forgetting about hypothetical “shoulds” my observation of what was said and done by Reza in the film indicated he was far more affected by Leila, and scared of losing Leila, than fearful of being offside with his mother – there was the feeling he would have run off with Leila and said to hell with all of them if she’d been on board with him. The film gave many indications that had Leila been strong enough within herself to say “no” to the second wife and able to trust Reza she would have been supported by Reza and her family and did have a choice…but she might have been absolutely right in her assessment too that to be childless in such a society would have killed their marriage in the end, that was her belief and understandably so. I totally and utterly understand how Leila felt and why she did what she did.
Well.. that would have meant going against Leila’s express wishes, it simply was not that straightforward for Reza. Trying to stay within the confines of what the film was showing, and forgetting about hypothetical “shoulds” my observation of what was said and done by Reza in the film indicated he was far more affected by Leila, and scared of losing Leila, than fearful of being offside with his mother – there was the feeling he would have run off with Leila and said to hell with all of them if she’d been on board with him. The film gave many indications that had Leila been strong enough within herself to say “no” to the second wife and able to trust Reza she would have been supported by Reza and her family and did have a choice…but she might have been absolutely right in her assessment too that to be childless in such a society would have killed their marriage in the end, that was her belief and understandably so. I totally and utterly understand how Leila felt and why she did what she did.I actually have a very similar scenario to this playing out with a friend of mine right here in the liberal old west and she is also tormented by family and actually now it has reached an all consuming grief and self loathing because she can’t have a child and knows his mother is looking at her askance … it’s an absolutely horrible situation and she ended up having a breakdown. So while his mother might not be demanding an “incubator” should be brought in, she has certainly had a crushing influence on their private affairs. I think if polygamy were a thing here, my friend might also have brought into it to relieve herself of the pressure and pain of it all.
dunno why that’s repeated all that:):) in “edit” the extra does not appear at all…weird