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An independently-minded Iranian widow and mother flouts tradition by re-opening her late husband's Europe/Asia border café in this socially-oriented drama from director Kambozia Partovi. In the wake of her husband's death, Reyhan (Fereshtei Sadre Orafaei) longs to re-open her late spouse's café despite rigid social standards that explicitly discourage her from doing so. Isolated from her friends and neighbors for her headstrong efforts to get the business back on her feet, Reyhan also faces pressure from her conservative brother-in-law Nasser (Parviz Parastoei) -- who longs to take Reyhan as his second wife as permitted by custom. Despite Nasser's vengeful efforts to break Reyhan's spirit and put her out of business, Reyhan's culinary skills soon begin drawing a healthy clientèle that includes kindly Greek trucker Zakariyo (Nikolas Padapopoulis); whose relationship with the determined restaurateur may provide an exit from her current crisis. Written by
Tradition and Bureaucracies are like glaciers: They grind along at a snail's pace, gradually burying, pulverizing and obliterating anything that stands in their path!...Well, ALMOST anything. Some mountains are tall enough and solid enough to withstand any glacier. Border Café aka Café Transit, is a film about one such mountain. Her name is Reyhan.
Upon becoming a widow, it seems she is expected to become like a child again, sheepishly submit to the will of her brother-in-law, become his second wife and assimilate completely and obediently into his family. Reyhan wants more out of life. Despite an orchestrated confluence of people and factors designed to force her into submission, she never caves. "Café" does have its glacier-paced moments, but they do contribute well to the mood, tone and certain inevitable realities of events in the film. Without any spoiler details, I found "Café's" final scene somewhat enigmatic and simultaneously amazing. It has been resonating in my brain since yesterday. Now I wish I had viewed it again before returning it!....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!
Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!
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