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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 1,020 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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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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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

 
Film is also about Iran's Arab minority
6 September 2003 | by (Cambridge, MA) – See all my reviews

I thought I'd add another comment to the mix of comments made about this film, which is that this film also tackles the issue of Iran's treatment of its Arab minority. This minority lives primarily in a western province called khuzestan (borders w/iraq), and along the western coastline, where the island portrayed in the movie happens to lie.

Most of the local inhabitants that the election official meets speak Arabic, some dont even speak Farsi (like the man in Granny Naghoo's compound). Being semitic, they have different physical appearances from the iranians, who are indo-european. And their customs are more similar to the arabs on the arab side of the persian gulf.

In addition to making points about democracy and about gender issues, Secret Ballot is also about the distance of Iran's central government from its Arab minority, seeming to be out of touch with their customs, their concerns, and their issues.

Incidentally, this theme of how Iran deals with its minorities is also addressed in Baran (Majid Majidi), but in that case it's about Iran's Afghan minority.

Congratulations to Babak Payami for a wonderful little gem of a movie.


14 of 16 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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