Khatemeh is a documentary written and directed by two brothers, Mehdi and Hadi Zarei. It won the Best Director award for Full-length Documentary and the Best Editing award at the Iran International Documentary Film Festival, and the Best Feature Film at the Florence Film Awards.
The structure of Khatemeh’s family, who originally came from Afghanistan and have lived in the 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 divorce. Some male relatives go to the refuge to take Khatemeh with them. Her brother says: “Death is better than being a whore.”