Tuesday, October 27 on M4
The True Stories strand, which showcases the best international feature documentaries, continues with Nahid Persson’s True Stories: Four Wives, One Man. This outrageous observational documentary, shot over three years, is a portrait of four wives, their husband, their incredibly free-speaking mother-in-law, and their many, many children – all of these characters living under the same roof in a rural Iranian village. From this house seething with sex, love and money scheming, Mr Heda departs each morning to go about the business of seeing to his sheep, wondering which wife he’ll spend the night with. Wife number four is a clear favourite at present. His choice made, he’ll make sure her door is unbolted tonight. Meanwhile his mother says her son really only has one thing going on in his head: ‘sex’. She continues, ‘My son is a good man…at sleeping with his wives!’ But she is never slow to leap to his defence whenever one of his four disgruntled wives gripes about the state of their marriage. In Iran, polygamy isn’t illegal, but it is certainly a cause of much frustration and consternation for Heda’s four wives, who feel both trapped and forsaken by their husband’s restlessness. Worse, Heda’s normal solution to any kind of marital discord is to bring home another bride, an even younger one ‘who won’t talk back’. Will he marry yet again?