Massoud Bakhshi's masterful film comes as an unexpected, but welcome, surprise after his previous documentary Tehran Has No More Pomegratates. Though that documentary was fine, this film is quite something else.
A young professor based in Europe visits Iran, his homeland, after an absence of 22 years. From the moment he arrives we can feel the menace in the air. The books that he issues to his students are instantly confiscated by authorities as being "unsuitable". His father is laying in a coma and his mother refuses to see her husband as she feels that his enormous wealth was gained by corrupt means. The professor also meets his half brothers & sisters (from a second wife that his father took secretly). Nothing is what it seems at first sight. In parallel with the main story we see flashbacks to the past to slowly unravel the mysteries surrounding the professor's family.
A Respectable Family is a masterful film noir and a hot political potato. Bakhshi does not pull any punches and his film hits hard at some of the Iranian authorities. Politics aside, this is a gripping, multi-layered and brilliantly made film with great acting to complement it. It is very much in the vein of some of the well known 60"s and 70's political thrillers such as Z, State of Siege, Missing, etc. Not to be missed.
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