Gilane (2005) - full transcript

A mother's courage, hardship, and love, in times of war. In 1988, during the Iran-Iraq war, Gilane escorts her pregnant daughter, Maygol, from the relative calm of their village, Espili, into war-torn Tehran to search for Maygol's husband, Rahman. The journey is arduous and what they find when they reach the capital is dismaying and frightening. Fifteen years later, as another war begins in Iraq, Gillane is at home caring for her son Ismael, who suffers from epilepsy, a byproduct of war. As she cares for him, she hopes for a visit from the doctor and from another daughter, Atefah. "Better be a dog than a mother," she says.


During the last days of the eight-year
Iran-Iraq war,

Iranian cities were subjected to a severe
Iraqi missile attack...

...on the eve of the Iranian New Year

Many people who did not feel
safe in the cities, fled to the country.


A film by: Rakhshan Bani Etemad
Mohsen Abdolvahhab

Maygol, honey.

Rahman! I'm scared.
Fire smell of burning!

I'm scared

Don't be afraid dear
You were dreaming

You were just dreaming

I have to go.
I can't take it any more

Here, Not so loud.

Have a sip of this
there, don't cry.


God willing you'll hear good
news from him. Don't cry dear.

You'll wake your brother.

Don't get him worried before his trip
Sleep my dear. Sleep on your side.

May God keep you for me.

May you live long, darling.

Script: R. Bani Etemad.
Farid Mostafavi, M. Abdolvahhab


Let's go.

God willing I'll see you a groom one day.

Look after Delavar, your baby.

Maygol, don't be stupid to go to Tehran

Rahman said he'll come for you.

If not for the missile attacks,
I'd say he went after a job,

When your brother says stay, say O.K.

To Ismael's health.
May you live long.

With your departure
I'm going to lose my assistant.

Make sure you finish the cottage
by the time Icome back.

Fatemeh Mo'tamed Aria

Bahram Radan
Baran Kosari

Jaleh Sametti
Shahrokh Foroutanian

Majid Bahrami
Nayereh Farahani

Art director:
Jila Mehrju'i

Production manager:
Abolqasem Hoseini

Assistant director: Nava Rohani
Manager planning: Aryan Mehdizadeh

Titles by:
Ebrahim Haghighi

Make up artist:
Mehrdad Mirkiani

Yadollah najafi

Sound mix; Mohammad Reza Delpak
Amir- Hossein Ghasemi

Davoud Yousefian

Director of Photography:
Morteza Poursamadi

Executive Producer:
Jahangir Kosari

Sa'id Sa'di

Director: Rakhshan Bani Etemad
Mohsen Abdolvahhab

You can't sleep either?

Were's Ismael to tuck you in?

O God, I'll walk
barefoot to the holy shrine...

if my Ismael returns home safe.

What happend?
Did you call?

What happend?

I'm asking you!

He didn't come home last night.

Didn't Ismael tell you not to go?

What if something has happen to Rahman?

God forbid.

Perhaps he's gone to visit his cousin.

Men never stay put.

Stay and do what here?
I have to get news of him.

All by yourself?
Pregnant, what can you do?

I wish I hadn't come.

You waited for Ismael to go
and then break my heart?

Damn me for giving my daughter
to a stranger.

In these circumstances
where's she heading?

She's worried about her home.

She should stay and have her baby here.

Once she visits her husband
I'll bring her back.

Please take care of Ismael's horse.


Gilaneh dear...

I haven't changed my mind.

Hurry up Rashid!
Summer is coming.

Your resturant will be built.

Your Ismael will be back and
have his wedding.

So what about us, eh?

If you run out of money.
Borrow from my freind.

And don't spend too much
I can't afford it.

Keep it. You'll need it more
for your trip to tehran.

Please take it.
Go and Godspeed.

God be with you.
Thank you.

You go back to your job.


Hey you, haven't you finished yet?

Nunny Gilaneh...

I think Ismael knows too.

What's wrong with it?

Why should you stay alone
when he gets married?

My baby needs a grandpa.
He says one uncle is not enough

three aunts as well!

Shame on you girl.

You're wearing your earrings too
Did Rashid like them?

I love you for coming with me
You never frown.

Careful with your tummy.

Give me the bag, you're tired.

Drink a sip, it'll refresh you.

What a good taste my Ismael has.

What a lovely suit he's got for your baby.

Rahman says what if they're twins?
Bahador and golpar.


His uncle said it is a boy and his name, Delavar.

May I die for Delavar.

May you become a groom.
May you become an enginner.

May you become a doctor.

May I arrange your circumcision
party my dear sir.

I love your tie my dearest.

Let's get going, we are late.

Straighten up, don't hunch.

The baby has turned, it's like a stone.

You're so stubborn,
like your late father.

I was pregnant with Ismael and
he made me ride behind him.

Every one said I'd have a miscarriage.

Ismael was born a plump.

May his sister die.

Why did you let him go again?

When all his friends are gone
how can I say 'NO', as if he'll listen

The moment he is back,
I'll arrange his wedding

What's going on there?
Is it an accident?

They're travellers.

You should thank God we're safe.

Everything we had was destroyed.

What are we to do?

You've been always buying things.

Dowry, dowry!

What's going on here?
Amissile has hit their neighborhood.

Where're they from?
They've run away from Tehran.

I've been asked for an empty room
all the day.

My brother has rented.
His three rooms to four families.

Now is the time to buy
a house in Tehran.

They come from different cities.

I spent six months in line,
waiting to buy a fridge.

Ask him where has been attacked.

Ask him please.

They say only the windows were broken
Only the windows!

They'll steal our life.

What a damn life!

Get on everybvody.

You'll be safe when you go back.

They won't hit one place twice.

I must've been mad to have listened to you.

People are running away from Tehran
We're heading there.

It's Ismael's fault

Had he been stronger'
noboody would've given you to a stranger.

He didn't force me' did he?

He kept whispering non-stop
under your ears and you fell for him.

Come here.

I said come here
you'll catch a cold.

Now she's become a city girl.

I'll do this and that for her
in Tehran.

Did he?
How nice of him!

Take your hand away.

He hasn't done his military service
He knew he wouldn't be given a job.

Why did he take you there?

We weren't left hungry.
No, but you think I don't know?
Come on.

You and your ideas!

He should come and work at our restaurant.
So your brother won't be alone.

Mother, how many people
will drive in that dirt road?

Just wait and see.

But Mother...

I say they will,
and you say they won't.

A cup of tea, it'll clear your voice.

How long have you got left?

If I stay alive, 4 months. Let me tell you
a story so you won't doze off.

Last year we had the Tehran
militia next to our platoon.

There was an Abbas Mohseni
from the Shush Sq. In Tehran.

He was so cool.

On the night of the Feast
he stopped the convoys.

Pretending giving water to the soldiers.
And he stole their red lamps.

In the evening we saw these illuminations...
right in the middle of the front.

And then they asked me to sing.

Hey. You're getting on my nerves.

Reza, dear
go and sit down please.

I'll be with you soon.


My wife needs to go
to the bathroom.

But we just stopped.

She's ill, she can't hold it.

Sir, stop somewhere
with a telephone booth.

Give me a break, I thought I'd go to Tehran
and earn something on the way back.

I beg you stop.
My wife doesn't feel well.

You should've rented an ambulance.

Who can find an ambulance
under these circumstances?

Tell her a joke, she'll forget.

Don't you hear him say stop?

Can't you see he's
been hit by shrapnels?

Can't you see the enemy line?

I say stop, you spy!

Reza, we aren't at the front now.
This is a bus

they are attacking.

Bring him some water.

Mehdi is fallen.

Give me your ring.

He's been hit by shrapnels.
Take him back.

I tell you stop, you spy.

Have a sip,
it'll calm you down.

Stop crying. It's your fate.

Don't cry on your wedding night
it's a bad omen.

What's my fault when they're afraid?

It's all his mother's fault.

Shut up!
She might have had a heart attacked.

It's your wedding.

You haven't paid for the other blanket.
I'll be back soon.

I'll make a big party in my city instead.

I wanted to be in my own home
on my first night.

My mother's house is like your own.

Maybe tomorrow the attacks
will stop and we'll go back.

My poor mother had never
experienced a missile attack

Aren't we humans
to have experienced so many attacks?

What could I do?
You saw she was dying.

Your mother got scared,
and you cancelled everything.

Stop the mess.

Mr. Groom, why don't you call it a night?
The sun is up. Come on. Get going.

Stop it, all of you!

You'll cause trouble.

The patrols may come.

Stop dancing.
Stop it!

Did you talk to him?

Look! What saddam has done in Halabcheh.

The pig doesn't even care
for his own people.

He is a wild wolf.
He doesn't care for anyone.

This brute won't stop until
some one stops him.

BBC said he's going to attack
Tehran with chemical weapons.

Let him, it'll end our
misery once and for all.

The bastard is dropping
chemical bombs all over the front.

A relative is a doctor at the front.

He says when they bring in the
chemically-wounded soldiers...

the lucky ones are dead.

The ones alive look as if
they've been in boiling water.

Their skins come off in one piece.

The government should've put an end
to this long before.

Hey, what's with you lady?

There no connection at all.

God, take care of us,

You're expecting, huh?

Have some of these.
They're our New Year cookies.

Have an apple, it's good for you.

If you have a girl, she'll be beautiful.

Where has been attacked
since yesterday?

We just left everything and ran.

When the children's hospital was
hit right in front of our house.

You don't know what a disaster it was.

Kids after kids were drawn
out of the mess.

They were just this size.

They took out a mother and a baby,
the mother was dead...

but the baby was still sucking.

Maygol. May God take me.

You're throwing up on
an empty stomach.

My darling!

Smell this.
It'll do you good.

Where are we going
with you in this condition?

I say let's go back.

We will call again.

God willing, we'll hear
good news from Rahman.

Ma'am, let's get on the bus.

Maygol dear,

Shall we go back?

What on earth am I to do
if you or your baby are hurt in an attacked?

You go back. I'll go alone.

If something happens to his father...
it's better it happens to us, too.

Don't be so stubborn,
you go back, I'll go on.

I don't need a fatherless child.


Lady, we're leaving.


Lady, aren't you coming?

The lady is dead.

Forgive me

May God forgive us all.


I too have a- tow month old-girl.

Nightmares again, dear?

Oh, my darling!

Father, take your wife to the bathroom.

- Hello.
- Good morning.

- You're heading to tehran?
- Yes.


- Would you like some breakfast?
- No. I want some fish!

- Where are you coming from?
- We're on leave.


Reza, show your papers.

- Here is your money.
- Thank you.

Thank you. May the New Year
be a good year for you.

Give this to your friend as
a new year present.

May I die for my delivery.

He knows he's going to his father,
he's being naughty

May God...

Take care of us.

When Rahman sees the two of us together,
he'll be happy.

He is working so hard.

Even if he has to borrow,
he won't come home empty-handed.

When we to buy this bracelet,
he used up all his money.

Then asked me what else I wanted.
I said "that one"

He said "put it on"

I said "you don't have money"
He said "You take what you like."

Then he made me
wear bracelets up to here.

He said "I'll buy them all for you".

He is very kind to me.

Shall we buy some vegetables
to make him shirin-tareh?

I will tell him...
and you back me up.

Let him pack
and we all go back to Espilli.

He'll work on the cottage
until Ismael returns.

We'll open our resturant.

When that road is paved,
we'll many customers coming.

You will see.

See what this Baathist bastard
has done to the people.

Reza, dear Reza,
what happened to you?

Did you take your pills?

Don't rush dear.
Thank God the house is OK.

My cute daughter,
may your baby be as cute as you are.

- Hello Maygol, welcome back.
- Hi, thank you.

What has happened to your furniture?

Poor me!

Were you in debt?
Perhaps Rahman has sold them.

Why don't you speak?

Mrs. Mehri...

What has happened to my child's things?

Were's the landlady?

Eshrat, please open the door.

- I'll wash myself and come out.
- Where are Maygol's things?

Oh, it's you Gilaneh?
Let me put on, I'll be right there.

Who dares go to a public bath?

- Where's Rahman?
- A missile hit behind the old bath.

Tell me what's happened?

His cousin said he's been drafted.

Military service.

His cousin took the furniture.

He said why should they pay rent?

It's a long time before Maygol's delivery.

And he was right, too.

Only since they hadn't paid rent for
three months...

my husband kept the fridge.

They took him?





Let's go to the basement.


Don't be afraid my dear.

See how my baby is wiggling.

Relax. Relax my dear.

God willing my Delavar
will be born healthy.

So will Ismael's kids.


Where are you sweetheart?

15 Years later.
20th March 2003, Iranian New Year's Eve

What's wrong?!

My God!
What can I do?!

Don't hit yourself!

If only I could make you better, my darling.

My poor child!

My darling

He's willing to go to a
disabled veteran's center.

You think I found this child?

You can't take care of him alone.

I've done just fine till now and...

Once Atefeh is here,
I'll have her to help me.

Today is Thursday, March 20,2003.
This is the latest news...

It's busy, ma'am.
Have a cup of tea till I get through.

Is this a time for tea, Ali?!
Try again.

By order of the United States President
armed forces attacked Iraq at 4:30 a.m.

"Live by the sword, die by the sword"
Did you hear, Nana Gilaneh?

Central hospital?
Hold on, sir.

Can I speak to Doctor Dabiri?

I'm the mother of Ismael Kejuri
calling from the village of Espili.

When he gets back please tell him
my Ismael is in very bad shape.

- Hello! We got cut off!
- Should I try again?

What am I going to do?

My darling son, you're awake!
One breakfast coming up!

God bless the Prophet Mohammad
and his family.

Wild rue... wild rue... crack open
and ward off the evil eye.

Is this smoke bothering you, my love?

Look at that beautiful smile...
beautiful locks.

May God make you well.

The southern cities of Iraq
have been under attacks...

Good morning, my darling child.

Let me see!

What are you watching on New Year Eve?!

I've made you herbal tea
it'll do you good!

Help me, love

I hope you get better, my son

We've got a special guest today.

- Should I put this on?
- No

Is your back straght, dear?

What happend?

It was so dark out this morning
I slipped and fell.

- Hello Nana Gilaneh
- Hello, Reza.

How's Ismael?

What do you want me to say.

Speak up! I can't hear you
Yes, I'm going to Kashan

He's lying! He's lying!

I've changed my mind.

If it was my property
I wouldn't sell.

I don't care what I said last week.

I'll break the contract.

Didn't you hear the news this morning?

You bet

If a missile falls on this side, many things will change.

The prices will go throgh the roof.

I'm taking the workers to the building site.

Sir could you call this number?

- Let's see it
- it's the hospital

I want to drive.

The weather is getting worse
You'll drive us off a cliff.

Never mind. Give it back.

I'm making my special dish for our guest.

Remember how much she liked
it last year?

Oh. Atefeh, Ican't wait to see you.

Damn, I forgot to empty it.

Hi Nana Gilaneh.


I'm going to call again.
The doctor might be back

Is he that bad?

He's wasting away befor my eyes

I'm going to the town
I'll stop by the hospital.

I hope doctor gets here
befor Atefeh.

When is she coming?

She should be here by now.

You think she really wants to stay?

We talked a lot last year.

I told her if you waited ten years to find
out your husband died in the war.

Imagine he came back the
way my Ismael did

you've already had you children

Bless her heart, who else would even
consider such a thing

Blow it over there.

Isn't she older than Ismael?

What's wrong with that?
She's still young at heart.

What if she's been given
to another man?

What gotten you?

To visit he husband's grave

That's more loyalty than
you'll find around here.

Nana Gilaneh, that's not fair.

I still wanted to marry him.
Even after he came back like this.

The sting of your mother's tongue still
weighs on my heart.

When she sent back your
engagment ring, she told me

"would you give maygol to a cripple?"

I said "The unfair."
As if my son was like before
he left for the war.

He was so young and strong.

All girls wanted to marry him.

Oh. Ismael, eagle of this valley.

He was so full of joy.

What have you done to yourself?!

Some people just aren's meant
to be together.

That's why I know Atefeh
came for a reason

Who would believe it?
Her husband killed in the south and

ten years later she find out he
was mistakenly buried here.

Let them take me.


Have you forgotten how you
came back last time?

Is your mother dead for you to be
neglected like that?

Over my dead body will I let
them take you again.

Your hands are the best cure for
my aching bones, dear.

What happend?

You nag so much a guy can't think
Even the flat tire is my fault?

- Were do you think you're going?
- Bathroom do I need permission?

I can't even get a phone signal.

It's bad luck to fight
on new year.

Let me try
Auntie's already said she wouldn't come.

Your aunt's stubborn to stay near
where they're bombing

Daddy don't worry so much.

She'd never leave her
house any way

Worry about your son's military
exemption instead.

What do you want me to do?

His compulsory duty starts soon
What if another war broke out?

With what moeny?

On top of teaching do you want me
to drive the school bus?!

Daddy, your heart?

Don't get upset, lady I'm
expecting someone from Bahmanshir?

Is the bombing in Iraq
near there?

- Keyvan
- Stop yelling!

I'll wash you with holy water, dear.

A wedding bath...
for your health and happiness.

You've got to look nice for the bride...

with your golden hair
and beautiful eyes.

Let me wash your hair, my child.

God bless the Prophet Mohammad
and his family.

I told Maygol and Delavar
to visit after the holiday.

I hope her husband lets her.

Who the hell does he think he is!

She wants to see her brother's wedding
To see her dear brother.

My beautiful child... my future groom...

Let me comb your hair,
my handsome son.

Italy, Spain and France...
Anti-war demonstrations...

Why didn't anyone protest when
our young were being killed?!

I hope there's a wedding in this house.

God, watch over all the young
and heal my Ismael.

- Have you got winston cigarettes?
- They're in the stand, son.

- Have they gotten cheaper?
- Only human life gets cheaper.

- I left the money.
- Thanks, dear.

- Guys, they aren't cheaper.
- Relax. The US has to come first.

- They'll be down with Iraq in a week.
- Then, we're rescued.

- You really think they care about us?
- It won't be worse than this.

What difference, When your own people
don't understand you?

- Sellout.
- Like we have a choice.

Just sit tight and wait.

When they come, you could go fight
and get killed or somthing

But in your will leave us
all your veterans benefits.

- Hello, Nana Gilaneh.
- Hello, dear.

Is he any better?

Like spring weather. One moment good,
another bad. What happened?

At the hospital they told me he left
for the day to visit patients.

God, bring him here.

Nana Gilaneh, Here's your change.
I bought this for Atefeh. Do you like it?

Give it to her when she comes.

Thank you.
Put it inside so it doesn't get dirty.



Hello, Doctor!
I've been searching high and low for you.

Very nice of you to come.

How is our friend?

In terrible pain since last night.

We were out of pills, so I only gave him
two a day. Is it because of this?

- Ive brought him plenty of medicine.
- For that, I'll cook you two eggs!

Mrs. Gilaneh,
have you been taking your medicine?

How can I be expected to
remember such things?!

You look weak.

- Better to be a dog than a mother.
- You shouldn't say that.

If there was someone to take care of him
I wouldn't want to live another day.

If Atefeh comes,
I won't let get away.

Don't torture yourself.
Who knows if she comes every year.

Doctor, what if she doesn't come?

Life has many ups and downs.

There's a war taking place
near her home.

Put yourself in her shoes. Would you leave
your family to come all this way?

You're still in bed?!

You sleep too much, champ.

What beautiful flowers!

- Hi
- Hi

How you doing, champ?

When did you get here?

Just now.

You bit your tongue again.

What happened to your head, champ?

Let's check your pulse.

Like cloc work.

Help me get you up.
Let see how you're doing.

Did you hear the news?
They've finally attacked.

This is what happens
when one's time is up.

Poor people!
They're cannon fodder.

If the US attacks...

I know, let's hope
it doesn't head in this direction.

These days there are many who
want to roll out the red carpet.

I'm going to give you a strong sedative
that'll help you sleep.

Take six pills a day until I return.

She doesn't look so good.

I want to go to hospital.

I know. It's best for the
both of you.

If you go, then she'll have to
stay with your sister.

Would you take me?

I've written to the veterans affairs in
Tehran and they've promosed to do something

This is killing her.

After the holidays, I'll take you.

It'll be hard on her.

But we've no choice.

You convince her.

Don't ask me to do it, champ.
Only you can do it.

Nana Gilaneh
I'm going.

You say that Atefeh won't come?

Go inside my dear. The weather
is too cold.