Not Without My Daughter

Synopsis: "Moody" is an Iranian doctor living in America with his American wife Betty and their child Mahtob. Wanting to see his homeland again, he convinces his wife to take a short holiday there with him and Mahtob. Betty is reluctant, as Iran is not a pleasant place, especially if you are American and female. Upon arrival in Iran, it appears that her worst fears are realized: Moody declares that they will be living there from now on. Betty is determined to escape from Iran, but taking her daughter with her presents a larger problem.
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Director(s): Brian Gilbert
Production: MGM Home Entertainment
  2 wins & 1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
116 min

Mom, you be careful.


I think this is longer than it used to be!

What a lovely day.


- Dad is looking so well.

- He is, isn't he? He always was a fighter.

- Look at Mahtob.

- She's such a daddy's girl.

Well, so were you.

Moody, Mahtob, Dad!

Come on. Fresh, home-made lemonade.

Come on, everybody.

Mom, Daddy's teaching me

how to fish again.

- Can I see today's catch?

- One of these days, oh ye of little faith.

- Here you go. Dad, d'you want lemonade?

- Yes.


- Ah.

- Sour?

- A little.

- Not enough sugar? I never get that right.

Hey, Mahtob.

What vitamins do we get from lemons?

- What vitamins do we get from lemons?

- Vitamin C.

Yes. What vitamins

do we get from bananas?

- Vitamin C, vitamin B and fibre.

- Right!

- None of my kids was as smart as that.

- Great. Thanks, Mom

- And what are you gonna be?

- A nurse.

- You can be a doctor as well.

- A doctor and a nurse.

How do you teach Mahtob to fish

when you've never caught one?

Honey, it's the best way.

This way I'm totally unprejudiced.

He bought all this fishing equipment

and he's had her out there every day.

If it's a choice between your lemonade

and my fishing, I know where I stand.

- I wanna sit on Daddy's lap.

- Well, it's my turn.

- Don't fight over me, girls.

- You should find another lap.

And then we have... Thank you.

.. a 30-year-old woman with a Class 3

Pap smear for a TAH, so I think...

The Iranians have prayed themselves

back into the Stone Age.

Why would anybody come to the States

to study medicine?

You can get a degree in Iran in two weeks.

Seven days.

The Ayatollah's got some great ideas.

A soldier gets wounded, let him die.

He's gonna go to paradise anyway.

- See that newspaper?

- The Iranian funny page?

How can he read that thing?

Looks like one of my prescriptions!

I've read that prescription.

- No, no, don't turn it off.

- It's OK.

- Honey, what's wrong?

- Nothing's wrong. I'm fine.

What's wrong?

The family - is everything all right?

Everybody's fine. They're fine.

By the way, Mammal phoned.

He and Nasserine have had a baby boy.

That's great.

A couple of doctors

were making cracks again.

- Who were they?

- What does it matter?

It matters, Moody. It matters.

We moved here to get away from all that.

- God, it's just so awful!

- Oh, honey, forget it.

Honey, forget it.

There are dumb people everywhere.

Forget it.

"And the genie roared with laughter.

Ha ha ha!"

"O thou poor thief

of a thousand alleyways. "

"You think you can marry

the Sultan's daughter

when all the princes in Persia

are seeking her hand?"

"You foolish slave,

replied Aladdin boldly. "

"Have you forgotten

the precious jewels in the cave?"

"You have the wits of a donkey. "

"I should put you back

into the dirty old lamp. "

- Is there really Aladdin's cave?

- There must be.

- Can we find it?

- I'm not sure if I know where it is, but...

You know, I was born in Persia.

They call it Iran now.

If I took you there,

maybe we could look for it together.

Iran's got caves and mountains

and deserts, just like in the story.

And mosques

that are so beautiful they're like jewels.

When the sun shines on them

they dazzle your eyes.

Would you like to see those?

OK. Where were we?

- Daddy?

- Uh-huh?

Do I hate Americans?

Of course not.

Lucille says I hate Americans

because you're from Iran.

Sweetheart... Lucille doesn't really know

what she's talking about.

So we shouldn't pay

too much attention to her.

I've lived in America for 20 years.

I'm as American as apple pie.

And so are you. Give me a kiss.

Big hugs.

Mmm. Big hugs.

That was Ameh Bozorg.

It's always the same.

She cries and cries on the phone.

"You're like a son to me.

When your mother died, I raised you. "

"I'm sick.

You're not here to look after me. "

- Is she sick?

- No, no, she's not sick.

She's 58. She feels old, but she's not sick.

- Same old guilt trip.

- Oh, honey, come on.

She's your sister. Phone her more often.

Phoning's no good. She wants to see me.

Now Mammal and Nasserine have had

the baby, everybody's there except me.

It's been ten years.

I haven't seen my family for ten years.

Mammal and Reza have been here.

Why doesn't she come?

She's hardly been out of Tehran.

She wants to see me over there.

They want to see us.

They've never met you or Mahtob.

- She asks why we can't go for a vacation.

- You'll have to explain it to them.

- Explain what?

- We can't go to Iran.

Why not?

I'm not taking Mahtob to Iran.

It's much too violent.

We're not going to go sightseeing

to the Persian Gulf.

We're going to spend two weeks

with my family.

Moody, there's too much

going on over there.

Look, your family is welcome here

any time. You know that.

Maybe you should just go there yourself.

No. I don't mean that either.

None of us should go. It's not safe.

- Mommy!

- I'm coming!

You're getting it out of proportion.

I haven't seen any of them for ten years.

- Honey, I...

- Mommy!

All right! I'm coming!

No, it's OK. Go ahead.

Honey, I want to go more than anything.

I miss them so much.

You're always talking

about how important family is.

All I want to do is go for two weeks

with you and Mahtob and visit my family.

- Moody, it scares me.

- What scares you, honey?

Look at me.

Do you honestly think that I would take

you and Mahtob anywhere dangerous?

I love you both

more than anything in the whole world.

Listen. Mahtob's got a vacation.

She starts a new school. It's a good time.

I swear to you...

on the sacred Koran

that you won't be in any danger,

that we'll be back after two weeks

and that I wouldn't do anything

to jeopardise yours or Mahtob's safety.

Come on, honey.

It's not such a big deal.

Look what they're doing.

- Hello, Betty.

- Hello, Nasserine.

It's so good to see you.

This is Mahtob.

- Betty! Betty! This is Ameh Bozorg!

- Sweetheart, that's Daddy's sister.

- Oh, my goodness. Look. Mahtob.

- Mahtob!

Moonlight. You are moonlight.

I know. Mahtob means "moonlight".


Betty? I'm so happy.

Now you can be with us.

Yes. It's only for two weeks

but I'm very pleased.

I remember your house

in America very well.

- Mammal, it's so good to see you.

- Finally you're here, Betty.

Yes. I'm so glad we could come for a visit.

Congratulations on the baby.

Thank you.

- What?

- Nothing.

She says Mahtob looks almost exact

to Moody and to Ameh Bozorg.

- Some reception, huh?

- Oh, my gosh. It's amazing.

- You know all these people?

- All of them.

Oh, boy. This is all my family.

- Obviously they really missed you.

- The car's just over here.

Go ahead. Unwrap it. It's a gift.

Thank you. Isn't that nice?

Oh, thank you. Thank you.

- Go on, put it on.

- Now?

Yeah. It's, er... They've gone

to a lot of trouble. It'll make them happy.

- All right.

- It's pretty good quality.

Let's get in the car.

God... it all looks so different.

You said foreign women

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David W. Rintels

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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