7.2/10
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8 user 30 critic

Iron Island (2005)

Jazireh ahani (original title)
Squatters, mostly Arabs in Persia, live on a mothballed oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. The children attend a school on board; men harvest scrap metal and old oil in the hull; women keep ... See full summary »

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8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview:
Ali Nassirian ...
Captain Nemat
Hossein Farzi-Zadeh ...
Ahmad
Neda Pakdaman ...
The girl
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Storyline

Squatters, mostly Arabs in Persia, live on a mothballed oil tanker in the Persian Gulf. The children attend a school on board; men harvest scrap metal and old oil in the hull; women keep house and raise children. Captain Nemat runs things with an iron hand, orienting new residents, keeping the books, negotiating with new buyers who may want to scrap the ship, arranging things, keeping discipline. We follow a lad who rescues fish trapped in the hull, an old man who stares at the sun, the idealistic teacher, and Ahmad, the Captain's assistant who has fallen in love with a young woman whose father wants to marry her to someone of means. What future has this sinking city? Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

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Release Date:

5 October 2005 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Iron Island  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$3,093 (USA) (31 March 2006)

Gross:

$23,130 (USA) (28 July 2006)
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Company Credits

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User Reviews

 
Trusts the viewer to make up his own mind.
26 October 2005 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I was most impressed by this movie, especially since I was going to it (with my wife) out of a sense of duty: it wasn't one of my choices at Toronto Film Festival. Frankly, I expected to be baffled and bored, as I have been by terribly earnest subtitled movies in the past. I was pleasantly surprised to find that it held my interest from the first scene. The unusual setting had a great deal to do with this -- the ship's crumbling superstructure, its dank and scary innards, the small domestic comforts of its tenants, the vast watery landscape outside -- all beautifully filmed. You are dumped right into the middle of all this, as if you were one of the tenants newly arrived, and watch a newbie get the full treatment from the Captain -- the leader and self-styled benefactor of this band of poor outcasts. You find your way around and get to know the people and their ways, but this is not a documentary, nor does it pretend to be. Our interest is not sociological, but just human. The Captain is at the centre of all this, and his character is at issue throughout. Is he really a saviour and benefactor, or is he just using the young men on board as a source of cheap (free, actually) labour so he can steal the remaining crude oil and valuable parts from the ship, before its owners send it to be cut up for scrap? By the time you have absorbed enough of the narrative to wonder about this, you have grown acquainted enough with the tenants' problems and aspirations to care deeply about this, and to follow his actions with keen attention. In the end, the viewer has to make up his own mind about the character of the man, the rightness of his actions. There is no foregone conclusion.


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