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Paziraie sadeh (2012)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  27 June 2013 (Germany)
7.2
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An Iranian couple from the city drive around a remote mountainous region. They hand out bags of money to poor villagers in return for them carrying out unusual requests the couple make of them.

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Title: Paziraie sadeh (2012)

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Leyla
Mani Haghighi ...
Kaveh
Saeed Changizian ...
Soldier
Esmaeel Khalaj ...
Old Man
Saber Abbar ...
Young Man
Mohammad Aghebati ...
Cafe Owner
Danial Fathi ...
Younger Child
Himan Dehgani ...
Older Child
Naqi Seif-Jamali ...
Man with Donkey
Nader Fallah ...
Working Man
Vahid Aghapoor ...
Morteza Kerendi
Mohammadreza Najafi ...
Mostafa Kerendi
Ghorban Nadjafi ...
Man at the Cemetery
Edit

Storyline

An Iranian couple from the city drive around a remote mountainous region. They hand out bags of money to poor villagers in return for them carrying out unusual requests the couple make of them.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Release Date:

27 June 2013 (Germany)  »

Also Known As:

Modest Reception  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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User Reviews

 
Another display of Iranian cinema's irrepressible originality
25 February 2012 | by (Germany) – See all my reviews

This was by far the best film I saw in the Berlin Film Festival this year, which surprised me given the tense situation in the country. Like the much lauded 'A Separation', it's chock full of allusions to the unique state the people in Iran are living in, but instead of veiling this in a character study, Mani Haghighi creates (and acts) an absurd world.

Given the panache of the story, it comes almost as a shock that 'Modest Reception' was screened in the Tehran Film festival: a rich city couple confront (and confound) a number of poor border-region mountain folks, offering them bags of money in return for increasingly humiliating actions. Throughout the film, it is unclear why they are doing this, and even the final explication remains far from satisfactory; what is evident though is that they are at odds with their own lives, and use the situation to wield absolute power over the people they meet, a behavior that switches to its exact opposite at the final climax, which somewhat redeems their earlier behavior.

Having been in Iran, I would say that it helps to know the country from the inside rather than news reports. If you only know these, this film will take you completely by surprise, and you'll find it hard to understand the sub-tones. As Haghighi said during Q&A upon the question if the film had any political message: 'You know, I think everything has a political message these days'. Let it suffice to say that there is a fundamental class division in Iran (as elsewhere) between city traders (or 'basaris', for which the leading couple may stand) and rural or migrating laborers (for which their various encounters may stand for). Afghan refugees, crooks, hermits, village teachers and impoverished soldiers feature among the types presented here, all of them acting with a humility towards the arrogance of the couple that may symbolize the superceding power of money over status; that may be why the movie wasn't touched too much by censors in spite of its critical tone. However, Haghighi also admitted that the absurd story was intended to deliberately mislead any expectations by authorities and audiences alike. That may also explain why the film moves at a very fast pace and features an acid jazz theme.

'Modest Reception' is a baffling mix of social criticism and sardonic comedy, defying any expectations on Iranian cinema, and as far away from Kiarostami as you can possibly imagine.


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