In Dah be alaveh Chahar / 10 + 4, though, circumstances are different: Mania is fighting cancer. She has undergone surgery; she has lost her hair following chemotherapy and no longer wears the compulsory headscarf, and sometimes she is too weak to drive. So the camera follows her to record conversations with friends and family in different spaces, from the gondola she had famously used in her first feature to a hospital bed. Yet, while he body shows the effects of the disease, Akbari is as tough, charismatic, and argumentative as in her previous screen appearances her luminous presence all the more alluring and precious as it becomes a sign of how fragile life itself is.
Her cinematic language has been expanded and refined from the rigorous explorations of 20 Fingers, to take into account the unexpected aspects of facing simultaneously death and survival, social stigma and sympathy. Treading an elegant line between documentary and fiction, Akbari takes a daring look at complex social situations that arise in the face of mortality and emerges with a new zest for life.
Directed by: Mania Akbari
Cast: Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Roya Akbari, Mina Hamidi, Behnaz Jafari, Maedeh Tahmasebi
Produced by: Mania Akbari, Shahram Shahandeh
Cinematographers: Mania Akbari, Turaj Aslani, Faraj Heidari, Koohyar Kalari
Editors: Mastaneh Mohajer
Sound & Mix: Alireza Alavian
77 min | Docufiction | Iran, 2007
Review by Hollywood Reporter
Mania Akbari’s second feature 10+4 reproduces the situation and, at least initially, the form – a blurring of the line between documentary and fiction – of Abbas Kiarostami’s 2002 feature Ten, in which Akbari played the protagonist. It opens on the same set-up as Ten, in which Akbari and her then ten-year-old son Amin Maher bicker in the car. Cut to the present; both mother and son are in the same position in the car continuing their argument, but with a twist – Akbari is now directing herself as lead and engaged in a fight against breast cancer that will end with her having a double mastectomy. She is thirty years old.