Without My Daughter
Not Without My Daughter is based on the harrowing true story
of Betty Mahmoody, an American woman who escaped from Iran with
her daughter after her husband tricked them into visiting his
family in Tehran for two weeks, but instead forcing them to permanently
live there and follow their oppressive customs. Jerry Goldsmith
provided an economical score, performed by the renowned National
Philharmonic Orchestra, doing away with the brass and scoring
only for strings, winds, percussion and electronics.
The score centres on two themes. Firstly a hostile middle eastern
theme for electronics and tom-toms depicting the Iranian sequences
and secondly a beautiful love theme for Mother and daughter (The
Lake) which Goldsmith later develops to underscore the escape
attempts from the Iranian family. There are moments when this
theme is highly dissonant and chromatic especially in scenes
between Betty and her husband (Threats) but it's also
there sounding hopeful with its main role reflecting Betty and
her daughter's yearning to return home to America (The Promise).
Goldsmith uses plenty of electronics with an effect sounding
like tablas and other sounds that colour the score depicting
the bleak desert landscape and ominous atmosphere. One of the
highlights of the album is First Break which starts with
an oboe idea emulating the Muslim call to prayer then building
to an exciting development of the middle eastern theme that follows
Betty's struggle to escape.
As with so many Goldsmith scores the centre piece is another
strong theme, providing the hook to hang the remainder of this
tense score on and give the picture the momentum it needs. It's
interesting to note that this theme provides Betty and her daughter
both hope and despair as it alternates between melancholy, reflecting
the sadness of a family breaking apart and a somewhat bittersweet
ending to the story as Mother and daughter escape to freedom.
Home Again starts ominously but contains a warm piano,
strings and flute solo statement of the main theme as Betty and
her daughter come across a US Embassy. Although the album
version omits the movie
version of this cue features an heroic rendition for trumpet
as the Stars and Stripes are sighted fluttering in the wind.
With the story resolved the cue then segues into the end credits
with thumping electronica before returning to the gorgeous main
theme and closing the score.
The score was originally released by Intrada in the US at the
height of the label's interest in the composer and produced a
good looking package with score notes. Edel Germany released a
poor looking version for the European market. Stupidly this version had the
film's title in German with a silly black sticker to cover the bungled artwork.
Now we have an almost complete score CD from La-La Land Records that includes the odd
missing cue, the non Goldsmith source music and most interestingly a 20 minute
suite of score with orchestra only. This new version is limited to 3000 copies.
Unfortunately La-La have been unable to source the pickup of The Flag
sequence featuring the trumpet.