In this docudrama based on true events, a mid-'80s Michigan housewife finds her life turned upside down when a vacation to Tehran with her Iranian husband turns into virtual imprisonment for her and her young daughter. Betty Mahmoody (Sally Field) is reluctant to visit the wartorn homeland of her doctor husband, Moody (Alfred Molina). But, depressed about the racism of the American medical establishment and pining for contact with his family, Moody convinces her to join him for a two-week jaunt. The Islamic fundamentalism and strange customs of Iran bewilder and frighten Betty and her daughter, Mahtob (Sheila Rosenthal). But nothing prepares her for Moody's announcement that the family will be remaining in Tehran indefinitely. Despite beatings and more pervasive psychological control from her husband and his relatives, Betty makes it to the Swiss embassy (there is no American ambassador at the time). There, she learns that as the wife of an Iranian, she is now automatically considered a citizen and that she has absolutely no parental rights over Mahtob in this country. Betty then endures several years as a virtual prisoner, escaping only with the help of Westernized Iranian friends. Based on the book by the real-life Mahmoody and William Hoffer, Not Without My Daughter was coincidentally released during the long build-up to 1991's Gulf War.