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iWonder February Highlights: Valentine’s Done Different

As couples, lovers, and secret admirers the world over prepare to pour their hard-earned cash into cards, chocolates and cute teddy bears, iWonder takes a look at some of the different roads to love, and the often unconventional journeys taken by couples around the world.

The Marriage Project, streaming now on iWonder

In the Sundance Grand Jury Documentary Prize winning 'Dina', this heartwarming film delicately explores love through the eyes of two people navigating love and marriage through the prism of neurodiversity. 'The Marriage Project' sees patients at a mental hospital in Tehran given the chance to explore relationships with the opposite sex for the first time, while 'No Dress Code Required' covers Victor and Fernando’s battle for acceptance in a pocket of Mexico where gay marriage is yet to be embraced by the community.

Then in this February’s iWonder What Top Five, we pull together five films covering the hidden side of sex (viewer discretion advised).


#Heartwarming #Sundance #Romantic

Dina’s getting married in a few weeks and there’s still so much to do. She has to get her dress, confirm arrangements with the venue, and make peace with her family, who remain nervous for their beloved Dina after the death of her first husband and the string of troubled relationships that followed.

Throughout it all, in the face of obstacles large and small, Dina remains indomitable. She’s overcome tragedy and found the man she wants and, at age 48, is bent on building the life that she believes she deserves.

Dina is unstoppable, a force of nature, and the star of her own life story. She’s an unconventional movie protagonist the likes of which hasn’t been seen before.

The Marriage Project

#Iran #Experimental #Love

Encourage the patients from a mental hospital to form relationships with each other, get married and live as a family; that’s the bold new idea of the head of Ehsan House in Southern Tehran. For the past 20 years, its 480 patients have lived in separate male and female units with no hope of ever leaving or of having meaningful relationships with the opposite sex.

But in 2017, the head of the centre secured the money to build a new unit of marital facilities. Despite strong opposition, he was convinced the patients would benefit from being in a couple.

As a selection committee begins evaluating patients, hidden affections come to the surface. Finally, the team selects two patients to form the first couple. Are these two patients capable of having a relationship that leads to marriage? What do their families think? And what about the patients who weren’t selected but still crave human relationships?

No Dress Code Required

#LGBTQ #Change #Equality

Victor and Fernando run a beauty salon in Baja California, Mexico. For many of their customers they were a lovely gay couple, until they decided to marry.

They become the first ones in their state to fight for their rights in a place filled with homophobia and inequality, facing down the city council of Mexicali, which defies the Supreme Court ruling that allows gay marriage.

Through their struggle, both in the courts and in the community, they manage to open the eyes of Mexican society, and affirm a love that fills every frame of this moving and eye-opening film.

iWonder when

February 14th, 1840

Saint Valentine may be responsible for creating Valentine’s Day, but the little-known Esther Howland, often referred to as “mother of the American Valentine”, deserves a share of the credit for her role in bringing the celebration to the masses.

Although the exact year isn’t known, in the 1840s, inspired by a Valentine's Day card she received from England, Howland decided to create her own elaborate and artistic cards. She used her father's stationery business as a starting point, and with her creative flair, she began producing beautifully crafted valentines using lace, colourful ribbons, and other decorative elements.

Esther Howland's cards became a status symbol. They were considered luxurious and were sold at a premium, attracting orders from all over the country which helped to sow the seeds of today’s multi-billion-dollar industry.

iWonder who:


A celebrated figure in Roman mythology, Cupid emerges from the annals of history as the enchanting god of love and desire. Born to Venus, the goddess of love, and Mars, the god of war, Cupid embodies the intricate interplay between passion and conflict. In ancient Roman art, he is often depicted as a winged cherub armed with a bow and arrow, symbolising his role in orchestrating the affairs of the heart.

Cupid's narrative weaves through classical literature, where his mischievous exploits are chronicled, revealing both the joy and pain of love. The enduring legacy of Cupid extends beyond mythology, finding resonance in Renaissance art and literature. His omnipresence in the works of poets and artists serves as a testament to the enduring fascination with the complexities of human emotion.

iWonder what:

Sex Uncovered

From communes to call centres, in this month’s iWonder What Top Five we look at some of the more unusual places people go to either indulge in their desires or help others to do so. Viewer discretion advised.

1) The Madam

#MadeInAustralia #Exposé  #Entrepeneur

Millionaire Mary-Anne Kenworthy is a woman of many titles: Mother, Rotarian, Entrepreneur and Brothel Madam. However, she is mostly known for owning two of the largest illegal brothels in Western Australia. This intriguing and humorous exposé of the sex industry follows Mary-Anne on her quest to launch an online brothel, and her crusade to decriminalise prostitution.

2) This is Rock Bitch

#Controversial #Polygamy #Music

WARNING GRAPHIC CONTENT: This film contains graphic images. Viewer discretion advised.

Rock Bitch is a group of female musicians who live in a sex commune. The girls see themselves as striking a blow for women everywhere, and they are doing it through the medium of rock music – in the nude.

The band was formed in a converted monastery in France where there is a 'free love' outlook on physical interaction. This is a fascinating, visually stimulating and no-holds barred documentary that delves deep into what these women consider to be feminine and how they express this both artistically and privately.

3) Living Dolls

#Quirky #Hobbies #Companionship

An intimate look at the weird and wonderful subculture of doll collecting – featuring a young mother who spends more money than the family earns to feed her habit; a Barbie-loving man who never left home; an animator who transforms dolls for an epic robot-porn film; and a married man who believes love dolls give him the best of both sex and art.

Living Dolls is a surprising, humorous and engaging documentary that opens the door to a fascinating array of collectors and their collections. It taps into why these colourful characters’ lives are ultimately shaped by their obsession. Some are loveable, others you may love to hate…

4) Sugar Sisters

#Provocative #Dating #Money

Follow three sisters as they explore the global phenomenon of sugar-dating where people in their twenties date older, wealthier men in exchange for money and gifts. Can they uphold their morals and feminist ideals whilst living the lucrative life of a sugar baby?

5) Call Girls

#Career #Money #Hidden

Gone are the clichés of bored old housewives earning pin money in late night phone sex call centres; young, old, single, married, educated, erudite are all getting in on the act. Call Girls meets the extraordinary women who are paid to talk dirty!