The Patience Stone

Atiq Rahimi

Somewhere in Afghanistan during an unnamed war, a young woman, abandoned by her family, diligently looks after her paralyzed husband. Praying seems to offer the only hope, but the prayers slowly turn into confessions of her deepest and darkest secrets.

In an unnamed country – that has all the characteristics of today’s Afghanistan – a young woman cares for her older husband, who is in a coma. He was shot during the fighting. She looks after their two young daughters and protects his motionless body against advancing militias. Meanwhile, she speaks increasingly openly to her husband, who was an oppressor when he was still healthy. She sees him more and more as the ‘patience stone’ from ancient Persian legend, to which you told all your secrets and sins before it broke, and in doing so delivered you from your guilty feelings. Atiq Rahimi’s film, based on his own book (which won the prestigious French Prix Goncourt), focuses continuously on the strong young woman, played with magnetic power by Iranian actress Golshifteh Farahani. The woman’s confessions sketch an open-hearted and revealing picture of this male-dominated society.


Atiq Rahimi
Michael Gentile
Country of production
Afghanistan, France, Germany, United Kingdom
98 minutes
Spoken language
Production company
The Film
Dutch distributor