14-year-old girl Khatemeh has run away to a women's refuge and is seeking a divorce from her husband, a man twice her age who was previously in a relationship with her older sister.
OFFICIAL SELECTIONS: Dok Leipzig
Khatemeh. A case of arranged marriage in Iran
The structure of Khatemeh's family, who originally came from Afghanistan and have been living in Shiraz, Iran, for more than thirty years, is rigid. A fourteen-year-old girl was married to a man double her age. He was in a relationship with her older sister, who took her own life.
He says: “When she died, I wanted to marry her sister because they look alike.” According to the men in the house, mental problems are common to all the women in the family. Khatemeh has run away to a women's refuge because she couldn't stand it any longer.
She asks for a divorce. Some male relatives go to the refuge to take Khatemeh away with them. Her brother says: “Death is better than being a whore.” At first glance, the situation seems clear. In the course of the film, however, more and more discrepancies emerge.
“Khatemeh” is like a desert storm which obscures the viewer again and again, then reveals a new vista when it has died down.