Culture denotes the full range of learned human behavior patterns including speech, actions as well as thoughts among other elements, sustained through learning and transmission of knowledge to subsequent generations. With its potent influence on people, it affects how people from different cultural backgrounds interact with outsiders, often with positive as well as negative effects. Basically communication refers to the exchange or interchange of messages, thoughts, opinions or information through signals, speech, writing, visual presentation or behavior. This essay reviews the movie ‘Not Without My Daughter’ with emphasis on the knowledge of cross cultural communication.

Before viewing the movie, I was aware of cross-cultural differences depicted in the American and Iranian cultures. I garnered this from various movies I have watched and from witnessing fights and verbal insults between American and Iranian students in school, which made me aware of the existent cross-cultural differences. This highlights a parallel with the scene in the movie where, tamed by the professional surroundings, Moody could be seen as angry when some doctors began making jokes about Iranians and their medical practice (Ufland & Ufland, 1991).

The stereotype that non-American cultures are primitive is shown by Betty’s insistence that the Islamic culture is undeveloped, which is shown throughout the movie. This prejudice causes more disagreements between her and Moody and makes communication between them more difficult in a way that he begins abusing her. This form of miscommunication, created and further worsened by Betty’s insistence on Islamic culture being primitive, could have been avoided simply by Betty’s acceptance of Islamic culture as being different and unique in its own way. If I were Betty, I would respect Moody’s Islamic culture and convince him to go back to America together.

The movie has enhanced my understanding of the importance of cross-cultural communication in terms of fostering peace, maintaining friendships and avoiding conflicts. It has enabled me to understand that prejudice against other cultures is wrong and may create conflicts. This has taught me to be more understanding and tolerant when interacting with people of different cultural backgrounds especially in professional surroundings. As shown in the movie, the Moody’s treatment which is lacking respect leads him to make a decision to stay in Iran, after swearing on the Koran that he would not endanger his family. Additionally and on a personal level, the video has shown me that it is very important to understand other cultures in order to interact with people effectively

This is exemplified in the movie when Betty projects a lack of respect for the Islamic culture which only serves to enhance the rift between her and her husband. My attitude towards other cultures has changed especially by the events in the movie where non-appreciation of other people’s cultures highlights the disintegration of Betty and Moody’s relationship. With dynamic changes that are turning the world into a global society I believe the case of miscommunication s does not represent the 21st century especially when people have learnt to tolerate people from other cultures.


Considering the potential of negative consequences, I have learnt that dealing with cross-cultural nature conflicts should involve procedures that will provide justice especially in professional fields. This highlights how the movie has expanded my knowledge of cross-cultural communication and understanding the differences in communication styles.

When interacting with individuals from different cultural backgrounds we need to have an approach which will be diplomatic, understanding and tolerant.

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