14 user 19 critic

Maryam (2002)

Not Rated | | Drama | 22 February 2002 (USA)
An Iranian-born teenager living in suburban New Jersey thinks of herself as simply an American until anti-Iranian sentiment erupts in her community after American hostages are held in Iran.


Ramin Serry
2 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Mariam Parris Mariam Parris ... Mary Armin
David Ackert ... Ali Armin
Shaun Toub ... Dr. Darius Armin
Shohreh Aghdashloo ... Homa Armin
Maz Jobrani ... Reza
Victor Jory Victor Jory ... Jamie
Sabine Singh ... Jill
Michael Blieden ... Pete
Jason Nash ... Joel
Goli Samii ... Leila
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Armin Amiri ... Ali
John Necef John Necef ... Young Ali
Gillian Thomas Gillian Thomas ... High school girl


An Iranian-born teenager living in suburban New Jersey thinks of herself as simply an American until anti-Iranian sentiment erupts in her community after American hostages are held in Iran.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Cultures clash. Hearts break. People change.




Not Rated

Did You Know?


In the scene where Mary's father (Darius) turns around and leaves, after he is prevented from entering the store after the store owner posts the "Closed" sign and hides in the back, a 1990 Volvo 740GL rolls slowly by in the street in front of him. The film's setting is 1979. See more »


Until We Meet Again
Written by Joe Lervold
Performed by Joe Lervold (as Joel Evans) & Patrick Maier
Courtesy of MasterSource Music
See more »

User Reviews

Flawed but worth watching
31 August 2004 | by jmatrixrenegadeSee all my reviews

I was too young while the events portrayed in the film were going on to truly experience them. So I view it at somewhat a disadvantage as history, but this isn't too bad -- a primary audience for this film should be teens, who clearly are in even worse of a situation than I.

It is not considered best to respond to comments, but I think I can voice my thoughts in answer to some of them. I too thought some of the supporting characters were badly played -- actually, what the film lacked were truly three dimensional non-Iranian characters. This is troubling. The potential b/f is portrayed as a bit of a boob and even the teacher isn't much help. The neighbors are a bit better, especially the wife in a couple scenes, but this is clearly a problem in the film.

I too felt that the film was sort of an extended Afternoon Special ... it shows my age that I remember them! All the same, it was a pretty good one with good acting by the leads, and some good situations. Given the paucity of good teenage drama in the theaters these days, Afternoon Specials actually look pretty good.

Let's remember this is the director's first film and a low budget one at that. This doesn't justify all of the films weaker components, but it helps understand them. Also, not only does the culture clash advance the plot, it very well might have been true that the family discussed how the cousin has different beliefs etc. Mary could very well have mostly ignored such "boring" discussions and the father might not have wanted to overdo it. Also, Ali's beliefs were rather new ... the father might have recalled him as more middle of the road.

As to historical accuracy. This is amusing -- the director based some of the film on his own experiences. I also don't know what was not historical accurate in the film. As to the lack of violence or truly harsh discrimination, the director in the commentary said he chose that route purposely so as not to make the film too harsh -- he wanted to focus on the emotions of the characters.

The lack of three dimensional non-Iranians aside, I thought it was a good film that showed a particular "growing up" moment for a teenage girl. The dad also impressed, a sort of everyman, that shows himself much more impressive than he first seems.

A good first effort ... with the expected flaws of a first film.

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Release Date:

22 February 2002 (USA) See more »


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Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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