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The Circle (2000)
"Dayereh" (original title)

7.4
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Ratings: 7.4/10 from 3,836 users   Metascore: 85/100
Reviews: 26 user | 63 critic | 28 from Metacritic.com

Various women struggle to function in the oppressively sexist society of contemporary Iran.

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Title: The Circle (2000)

The Circle (2000) on IMDb 7.4/10

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13 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Nargess Mamizadeh ...
Nargess
Maryiam Palvin Almani ...
Arezou (as Maryam Parvin Almani)
Mojgan Faramarzi ...
Mojgan - Prostitute
Elham Saboktakin ...
Elham - Nurse
Monir Arab ...
Monir - Ticket Seller
Maedeh Tahmasebi ...
Maedeh (as Maedeh Tahmasbi)
Maryam Shayegan ...
Parveneh
Khadijeh Moradi
Negar Ghadyani
Solmaz Panahi ...
Solmaz
Fereshteh Sadre Orafaiy ...
Pari (as Fereshteh Sadr Orafai)
Fatemeh Naghavi ...
Nayer
Ataollah Moghadas ...
Haji
Abbas Alizadeh ...
Father of Pari
Edit

Storyline

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 Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

| |

Language:

Release Date:

8 September 2000 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

El círculo  »

Box Office

Budget:

$10,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$22,360 (USA) (13 April 2001)

Gross:

$673,780 (USA) (22 March 2002)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Connections

Version of Circle of Desire (1998) See more »

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User Reviews

Third-world-feminist NORTH BY NORTHWEST

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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