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So Close, So Far (2005)
"Kheili dour, kheili nazdik" (original title)

 -  Drama  -  8 October 2005 (USA)
7.7
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Ratings: 7.7/10 from 1,288 users  
Reviews: 4 user | 2 critic

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Title: So Close, So Far (2005)

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Cast

Credited cast:
Afshin Hashemi ...
The Cleric
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Elham Hamidi ...
Nasrin
Ashkan Khatibi ...
Saman Alem
Masoud Rayegany ...
Mahmoud Alem
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Storyline

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Plot Keywords:

iran | desert

Genres:

Drama

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Details

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Release Date:

8 October 2005 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Kheili dour, kheili nazdik  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Selected as Iran's submission in the Best Foreign Film category for the 2005 Oscars See more »

Quotes

Saman Alem: Orion Nebula is great! It's the best birthplace I've seen. Eskimo Nebula is great too! It's the best graveyard.
Nasrin: Graveyard?
Saman Alem: Yes, nebulas are the birthplace and graveyard of stars. They all go back to where they came from.
Nasrin: I had no idea that stars die too?
Saman Alem: They all die! Many of the stars we see at night have been dead for millions of years. But because of the far distance we have from them, we still see them alive.
Nasrin: That far, huh?
Saman Alem: So far, So close! If you compare that to our world you think them ...
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A window into Iran's ambivalence about the west
16 October 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I am not an expert in either Mirkarimi's work nor the current intellectual atmosphere in Iran. I saw "So Close, So Far" (or as it is referred to on other sites, "Too Far Away, Too Close") at the 28th Mill Valley Film Festival; the film is magnificently photographed amidst the secular western influences (high-rise architecture, interminable freeway traffic, cell phones, food-network television shows) of the Tehran bourgeois and in the pure, poor, religious, traditional culture of the Iranian desert. "So Close, So Far" is a deeply philosophical, humanist film that will be submitted as Iran's entry for the 2006 Academy Awards for Foreign Film.

The film is fascinating in its depiction of the split between trust that the protagonist, a westernized Tehrani neurologist (played by Masoud Raygan) places in science as the explanation of all human phenomena versus the faith that the film's other main character (an under-trained and under-funded female country doctor, portrayed angelically by Elham Hamidi) puts in the "too mighty" god of Islam.

The outstanding screenplay takes on the character of a great novel, with every scene and bit of dialogue foreshadowing later events; nothing is wasted in the film, which runs over two hours. It is a road movie in which the quest takes on personal, political, religious and philosophical meaning. The only negative comment I would have is that the large portrayal of the doctor's central agony is almost too overpowering for American audiences.

One thing I found interesting was the subtitler's use of the term "astrology" for astronomy (the doctor's son is an astronomer who is out in the desert as part of a national astronomic competition). Iran's dichotomy of the modern, western and secular versus the traditional, eastern and religious is perfectly reflected in the dichotomy between modern astronomy and ancient astrology. Astronomy/astrology gives the film its title (galaxies that are far away from us, yet much closer than the other stars in the universe), and the film relates the pictures of nebulas to the fantastic shapes of the desert landscapes. The doctor has to confront issues of birth and death in his practice, the son contemplates the birth and death of stars.


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