I Don't Like Here (2016) Poster

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8/10
A great film director, with a world of his own and clear ideas about the art of cinematography
The film 'I Don't Like Here' denounces the double standards of a seemingly permissive society on the subject of trans-sexuality, but that in no way is a simple pamphleteer. For a European it may seem shocking that in Iran, the sex-change operation is authorized; but since the arrival to power of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, after the Islamic Revolution and the defeat of the Shah of Persia in 1979, this kind of operation is given a green light, defending the Islamist regime, after medical and theological consultations, that people have the right to claim the sex to which they feel linked, despite living in a different body. This measure results in Iran being one of the countries in the world where more sex-change operations are carried out, attracting many foreigners who see in this country as the solution to their problems.

Taking into account these surprising data that very few know, since the media do not divulge it, it is more than surprising that 'I Don't Like Here', directed by the young Javad Daraei, who tells the story of a teenager trapped in the wrong body, which, is rejected, not only by Iranian society, but by her own parents who are unable to understand the distressing problem of their daughter.

For the young director, the important thing is to tell a story of love, self-improvement and personal dignity, beyond appearances or machismo established in a society closed to certain personal liberties. And by this I do not mean that in the rest of the world, freedom is absolute or Western democracies are the earthly paradise; There is also machismo and double moral in the West and this is the reason that a film like this one that occupies to us is as singular as daring.

It's surprising, the maturity with which Javad Daraei approaches the direction of actors and manages the cinematographic narrative. His eyes are full of love and compassion for fragile beings. How he is and touched by the misfortune of their inevitable destiny is admirable.

'I Don't Like Here' is shot with very few means, but with a very clear idea about the story that wants to tell and how it wants to tell. For example, music is a precise element that instead of being a mere accompaniment, as in most current films, is used with a clear dramatic effect that is part of the crying or laughter of the main character, This teenager who wants to rebel and who fights without rest to defend her masculinity since she was a girl.

There are no stereotypes or clichés: the father and mother are exact pieces of this social gear made of apparent social liberties, but cloistered in internal struggles of millennial prejudices, whose intolerance is difficult to overcome. A macho father and a loving mother with her daughter, whom they do not understand at all, despite the fact that their love for her is evident.

Another striking point is the staging: sober, intuitive, full of small nuances, wonderful ellipsis that create moments of true poetry, only within the reach of a true filmmaker-author.

In 'I Don't Like Here', he sees himself once and wants more, because his drama envelops us and makes us accomplices, while guilty of our prying and impotent look. How difficult is the combination of drama and tragedy, so as not to result in an excess of false aesthetics or banal resources employed by the more vulgar industrial cinema. The film does not seek the tears of the spectator at any price; He only wants his most intimate emotions, his most discreet and barely discernible tear, his unconditional love that judges no one. And that is the great virtue of this film, which does not make value judgments, nor proclaims blunt sentences that satisfy politicians or institutions of goodwill: love above all, and pain as a final tribute to mistakes made For having their eyes closed to the world around them.

I do not think I am wrong, if I declare that this is a great film director, with a world of his own and clear ideas about the art of cinematography.

Miguel Angel Barroso/Cult Critic/CICFF
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