This is an absorbing and thought-provoking look at a Middle Eastern activist who is captured (in an exciting opening sequence in which he and his fellow renegades become slowly aware of rival forces surrounding them in their meeting place), and then is tortured in prison by people who are supposed to be his allies!
His persecution is intercut with the arrival of his newborn-- during his capture, his wife is giving labour; and during his incarceration, she clutches their baby, crying incessantly, knowing that this infant will never see its father. BOYCOTT avoids the complexity of the political and religious issues surrounding the Middle East conflict, and instead fleshes out a human story of a man who is a martyr for a belief system that similarly exploits him.
Of the handful of films I have seen by the wunderkind Iranian director Mohsen Makmalbaf (whose work I actually prefer to the more recognizable style of his more well-known countryman Abbas Kiarostami), not one of his films are like any other he has made. (Even his masterpieces, GABBEH and MOMENT OF INNOCENCE are technically and stylistically different from each other) And of the master's movies of I have seen, this perhaps is his most "commercial", if because it relies less on visual ideas than a more conventional narrative. With its hyperactive chase scenes, gunshots sounding like those in Spaghetti westerns, and melodramatic music, this perhaps is more imbued in Western film-making techniques than any other... ironic for a film featuring a world that is unlike that of the Western World.
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