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Secret Ballot (2001)
"Raye makhfi" (original title)

 -  Comedy  -  26 October 2001 (Italy)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 1,021 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 24 user | 37 critic | 25 from Metacritic.com

A female election agent and a gun-toting soldier try to collect votes among the local islanders with mixed success.

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Title: Secret Ballot (2001)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Girl
...
Soldier
Youssef Habashi
Farrokh Shojaii
Gholbahar Janghali
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Storyline

A soldier stationed on a deserted beach wakes up and discovers that it's not going to be an ordinary day: there are the elections, but nobody seems to know anything about them. Just as an electoral urn is being parachuted from the sky, a young woman disembarks on the beach. To the soldier's bafflement, it turns out that she is in charge of the mobile electoral seat and voting on the islands; therefore the soldier is obliged to obey her orders and escort her with his rifle and army jeep across the desert, where the woman obstinately intends to collect the votes. During the day, stressed by a series of absurd events, the two learn to get to know each other. At sunset, when the young woman leaves, the man realizes that the secret vote contained much more than he had ever imagined. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

In Iran, a major new voice is emerging.

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

G | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

26 October 2001 (Italy)  »

Also Known As:

Bulletin secret  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$14,609 (USA) (9 August 2002)

Gross:

$114,183 (USA) (11 October 2002)
 »

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User Reviews

Mildly entertaining.......
30 October 2004 | by See all my reviews

Films that have new ideas to put on the table are always welcomed. So many filmmakers today feel like the only way they can express their sincere views and emotions is to format these ideas and emotions into a cliché structure. It is good to know, however, that a relatively new filmmaker named Babak Payami can express his thoughts in a story that has never been told before. The film Secret Ballot is a about 'a girl' (Nassim Abdi) who travels through some islands off the coast of Iran with a guide (Cyrus Abidi) meeting random people and marking down their votes for election day. Half the people she meets do not even know who the candidates are; she has to explain their tell them about the candidates for five minutes before they vote. Payami uses the girl's quest for votes as a jumping off point for the greater question of the value of democracy and uses the relationship between the girl and the guide as a jumping off points for questions about feminism in Iran. The commentary on feminism is funny and so are the scenes where the girl is collecting random peoples' votes but to use such a terrible voting system as a way to question the value of democracy is a bit like using the characters from Lord of the Flies as a way of questioning the value of children-the excellent story in this film really doesn't make up for the phony message. I'm unimpressed by Payami's terribly indulgent visual style; if a film is going to have self-indulgent visuals, their should at least be something to indulge in, but I can't say that this is the case for Payami's images. This is the kind of mildly entertaining film that might be not be worth seeing at the movie theatre, but, if you're bored, you could catch on television one day (billions of years from now when they decide to put Iranian films on television.)


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