When a young girl becomes lost in the hustle and bustle of Tehran, her journey turns into a dazzling exercise on the nature of film itself. In this ingenious and daringly original feature, ... See full summary »
Mina Mohammad Khani,
In a secluded house by the sea with the curtains shut, a screenwriter hides from the world with only his dog as company. The tranquility is abruptly broken one night by the arrival of a ... See full summary »
It's been months since Jafar Panahi, stuck in jail, has been awaiting a verdict by the appeals court. By depicting a day in his life, Panahi and Mojtaba Mirtahmasb try to portray the deprivations looming in contemporary Iranian cinema.
Irreverent city engineer Behzad comes to a rural village in Iran to keep vigil for a dying relative. In the meanwhile the film follows his efforts to fit in with the local community and how he changes his own attitudes as a result.
Roushan Karam Elmi
A film comprised of three interconnected vignettes that depict women at three stages of life in Iran. The first part centers on a young girl on her ninth birthday who is told that she can ... See full summary »
In a hospital waiting room a woman learns her daughter, Solmaz Gholami, has just given birth. The ultrasound test had prepared the family for a boy. The baby, it turns out, is a girl. The joy the mother anticipated turns to terror for she knows her son-in-law's family will abandon her daughter. The old woman flees as the in-laws arrive. On the crowded streets of Tehran - a place where women are not permitted to stay out on their own or smoke in public - two women are also on the run. Arezou and Nargess have just been granted temporary leave from prison but they have no plans to return. They manage to scrounge together enough money for the bus trip to Nargess' hometown, but she lacks proper identification, and the police are searching everyone at the station. Meanwhile, their friend Pari has just escaped from prison in order to have an abortion. Threatened with death by her brothers, she flees from her father's house and meets with a former inmate, Elham, who is now married to a doctor...Written by
The film does not have a central protagonist: instead, it is constructed around a sequence of short interconnecting stories that illustrate the everyday challenges women face in Iran. Each story intersects, but none is complete, leaving the viewer to imagine both the background and the ending. See more »
Made interesting and engaging by the anger at the system within each story but that focus takes away from the narrative
I have seen several Iranian films in the past few weeks thanks to a short season of the films screened in the UK by Channel 4 a channel that can rise above the level of reality television when it puts its mind to it. Having seen them in a compact space of time, I had quickly gotten it in my head that many of those screened had come to international attention and various degrees of acclaim because they were "issue" films that looked at some aspect of Iranian life with at least a semi-critical eye. However none of them came close to the sort of anger with the system that was evident throughout this film.
The plot sees several stories that weave around one another to produce a film that looks at several women, all of whom are suffering in some way or other due to the general treatment of women in Iran. As a dramatic device it doesn't totally work because too little time is spent with each character to really get to know them or get into their stories and situations, but this struck me as being the film's second aim with the first quite clearly being the injustice with which women are treated. As such, the narrative never really engaged me in terms of the people in the story, but the general picture painted was interesting enough to hold my attention and make me care for the characters generally, even if I would struggle to put names to faces.
The actresses are all pretty good and most come off pretty natural and convincing, with only the odd moment here and there not really working. They all strike a rather tragic note with each of them trying to make out the best they can in life but really oppressed in so many ways whether it is small things like not easily moving in the streets by themselves or being rejected by their families to save honour. The direction is good, with different styles used for some of the characters but done in a subtle way to the point where I didn't notice until somebody pointed it out to me.
Overall this is a good film but not a brilliant one mainly because the narrative comes secondary to the criticism of the system. However it is worth seeing mainly because, without really ranting, it holds a lot of anger at the status of Iranian women and their treatment and the injustice within the system it may not be balanced but it is interesting and engaging.
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