The powerful feature debut from artist Shirin Neshat is based on the controversial novel by Shahrnoush Parsipour - and is a sumptuously filmed reflection on the pivotal moment in history that directly led to the Islamic revolution and the Iran we know today.
The narrative interweaves the lives of four disparate women in the tumultuous summer of 1953 during an American led, British backed coup d'état. Over the course of several days, they are brought together against the backdrop of political and social turmoil. Middle-aged Fakhri is trapped in a loveless marriage, contending her feelings for an old flame who has just returned from America. Young prostitute Zarin tries to escape the devastating realisation that she can no longer see the faces of men. Politically awakened Munis must resist the seclusion imposed by her religiously traditional brother, while Faezeh remains oblivious to the turmoil in the streets and longs only to marry Munis’ domineering brother.
As the political turmoil swells in the streets of Tehran, each woman is liberated from her predicament. But it’s only a matter of time before the world outside the walls of the orchard seep into the lives of these women as their country’s history takes a tragic turn.