Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Roushan Karam Elmi
In a secluded house by the sea with the curtains shut, a screenwriter hides from the world with only his dog as company. The tranquility is abruptly broken one night by the arrival of a ... See full summary »
The whole village knows that Mashti Hassan loves his cow to death. One day he goes to the Tehran. His cow dies. The villagers are afraid of what might happen once Hassan finds out his cow is dead. What will happen when he finds out?
The movie focuses on one of the events in Zendegi Edame Darad (1992), and explores the relationship between the movie director, and the actors. The local actors play a couple who got ... See full summary »
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz,
Itinerant Kurdish teachers, carrying blackboards on their backs, look for students in the hills and villages of Iran, near the Iraqi border during the Iran-Iraq war. Said falls in with a ... See full summary »
Amiro is a young boy who has lost his home during the war. He spends his days by working odd jobs, until he realizes that the only way that he can realize his dreams is by enrolling in ... See full summary »
In a hospital waiting room a woman learns her daughter, Solmaz Gholami, has just given birth. The ultrasound test had prepared the family for a boy. The baby, it turns out, is a girl. The joy the mother anticipated turns to terror for she knows her son-in-law's family will abandon her daughter. The old woman flees as the in-laws arrive. On the crowded streets of Tehran - a place where women are not permitted to stay out on their own or smoke in public - two women are also on the run. Arezou and Nargess have just been granted temporary leave from prison but they have no plans to return. They manage to scrounge together enough money for the bus trip to Nargess' hometown, but she lacks proper identification, and the police are searching everyone at the station. Meanwhile, their friend Pari has just escaped from prison in order to have an abortion. Threatened with death by her brothers, she flees from her father's house and meets with a former inmate, Elham, who is now married to a doctor... Written by
In Jafar Panahi's claustral feature debut, the brilliant central conceit is that being a woman in Iran is exactly equivalent to being the Wrong Man in an Alfred Hitchcock movie. In the movie's nameless Iranian city, the narrative baton is handed off from one woman to another, each of them missing an ID card, a chaperoning male, some form of social validation; without it, the long arm of the law winds around each woman like a python. Panahi's style--long, fluid takes that are at once bruisingly verite and dreamlike--buckles in the script's ingenious (and perhaps unconscious) major device: in this movie, women are a secret underworld with nodding, unspoken signals, just like hoodlums silently acknowledging one another in a gangster picture. There is no warm-hug sisterhood here, just the desperate mutual regard of the about-to-be-caught.
The honesty and unfussiness of the style of contemporary Iranian directors enables them to get away with stuff other artists might not, such as the ending of this movie, which, in a European or American movie, might seem thuddingly unsubtle. Here, it seems like the fulfillment of a nightmare--and it works because of Panahi's wittily blunt style, which is pitched somewhere between Iranian neorealism and Elaine May's MIKEY AND NICKY. And it works because of our constant recognition of the literal, physical courage of the movie: our glimpses of current state attitudes toward abortion, prostitution and corrupt police are so bald one marvels at Panahi's (and the cast and crew's) effrontery. Never has chador seemed less exotic and more evil--a manifestation of a terror of the beauty and pleasure of the female body that seems to engulf each character like a Cronenbergian plague. (The movie's wittiest touch is Cronenbergian, too: a woman character has a tic that gives her away to the cops--pregnancy-induced vomiting.)
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