Marzieh is a young female actress living in Tehran. The authorities ban her theatre work and, like all young people in Iran, she is forced to lead a secret life in order to express herself artistically. At an underground rave, she meets Iranian born Saman, now an Australian citizen, who offers her a way out of her country and the possibility of living without fear.
Tag Archives: Persian
Syngué sabour, pierre de patience / The Patience Stone (2012) Atiq Rahimi, Golshifteh Farahani, Hamid Djavadan, Hassina Burgan, Drama, War
Author Atiq Rahimi’s adapts his own bestselling novel about a Muslim woman whose paralyzed husband unconsciously assumes the role of syngué sabour, which shields her from the sorrows of life in her war-torn village. Her unnamed Middle Eastern country caught up in the insurrection, the loyal, thirty-something wife faithfully sits watch over her vegetative husband, who has been all-but forgotten by his brothers and fellow Jihadists. Over time, she gathers the courage to tell her husband all of the things she had remained silent about during their 10 years of marriage. Throughout the course of their conversations, she speaks frankly of the disappointments, sorrows, and sacrifices that have made her life so difficult throughout the previous decade.
About Elly / Darbareye Elly (2009) Asghar Farhadi, Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Drama, Mystery, Thriller
Writer/director Asghar Farhadi offers this revealing look at the Iranian middle class by examining how one simple lie can open up a Pandora’s box of problems. In the wake of his failed marriage in Germany, Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini) returns to Tehran. With the holidays approaching, Ahmad’s friend Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani) organizes a weekend getaway to the Caspian Sea with a group of old college friends. But one member of the group sticks out like a sore thumb: she’s a pretty kindergarten teacher named Elly (Taraneh Alidousti), and Sepideh thought she would be a perfect match for Ahmad. In order to rent a spacious beach house for the group to share, Sepideh told the elderly landlady that Ahmad and Elly were newlyweds. But the truth is Elly has never even met Ahmad, and she doesn’t share a close bond with the rest of the friends. Strangely enough, on the very first night of the trip Elly naturally endears herself to the tight-knit group. The following day, however, Elly vanishes without a trace, sparking a frantic search that sours the festivities, and revealing the casual deceits that are shared amongst friends.
The Wind Will Carry Us / Bad Ma Ra Khahad Bord (1999) Abbas Kiarostami, Behzad Dorani, Noghre Asadi, Roushan Karam Elmi, Drama
This idiosyncratic drama from Iran begins as a jeep winds through the hills of Kurdistan, containing an engineer (Behzad Dourani) and his two assistants (whom we never see) as they search for a small village in the mountains. When they arrive, they are greeted by a young boy, who shows them a place they can stay and guides the engineer to the home of an old woman (also never seen) who seems to be dying. No one is sure what the engineer and his men are doing there; some locals think he’s keeping watch of the old woman and wants to purchase her land when she dies, while others think he could be an archeologist searching for rare artifacts.
Sokout / The Silence (1998) Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Tahmineh Normatova, Nadereh Abdelahyeva, Goibibi Ziadolahyeva, Drama, Music
Because of his special gift in identifying objects by the sounds they make, a blind young boy is employed as a string instrument tuner in a small village in Tajikistan. He may be blind but that does not mean he cannot see. On his way to work, he could tell the quality of the bread the young girls along the streets are peddling by simply touching their ware. His world is made more colorful and quaint because of his sensitivity to his surroundings. The only problem is that he is easily “tempted” by street musicians’ performances and arrives late at work.
Bicycleran / The Cyclist (1987) Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Mahshid Afsharzadeh, Firouz Kiani, Samira Makhmalbaf, Drama
The wife of Nasim, an Afghan immigrant in Iran, is gravely ill. He needs money to pay for her care, but his day labor digging wells does not pay enough. A friend connects Nasim to a two-bit promoter who sells tickets to watch Nasim ride a bicycle continuously for a week. The promoter brings in sick and aged spectators, haranguing them to find hope in Nasim’s strength. Aided by his son, who feeds him as he rides, Nasim grinds out the days and shivering nights. Local officials believe this may be a plot and Nasim may be a spy; they try to sabotage him as do those who bet he won’t finish the week. Will desperation alone get Nasim the money? Is any triumph an illusion?
Kelid / The Key (1987) Ebrahim Forouzesh, Mahnaz Ansarian, Abbas Jafari, Amir Mohammad Pourhassan, Drama
Calamity by four-year old might be another title for this tense, humorous drama. In the story, a four year old boy (Mohammed Aladpoush) is left at home with his baby brother while his mother goes out shopping. She has told him to give the baby his bottle while she is away. However, the boy has a different idea about what he should do, and consumes most of the bottle himself. The hungry baby’s cries arouse the neighbors to try and get into the apartment, but it is locked, and the four-year old can’t (or, more likely, won’t) let them in. Despite a number of near-disasters, the enterprising young boy manages things just well enough (with the occasional help of shouted advice from frantic neighbors) so that serious calamities are avoided.
Gheisar (1969) Masud Kimiai, Behrouz Vossoughi, Pouri Baneai, Nasser Malekmotei, Crime, Drama, Romance
When Gheisar returns to town, he finds that his sister committed suicide after being raped and her brother was murdered. Although his mother and uncle tried to dissuade him, and despite the deep love for his fiancee, Azam, for Gheisar there is only one way out … revenge.
Kasi az gorbehaye irani khabar nadareh / No One Knows About Persian Cats (2009) Bahman Ghobadi, Negar Shaghaghi, Ashkan Koshanejad, Hamed Behdad, Drama, Music
Negar and Ashkan, two young Iranian songwriters, decide to set up an underground band and look for other musicians to join them, but the authorities keep putting a spanner in the works. Fed up with being hindered from expressing themselves, the two young people try to get documents to leave the country for Europe.
Roozi ke zan shodam / The Day I Became a Woman (2000) Marzieh Makhmalbaf, Fatemeh Cherag Akhar, Hassan Nebhan, Shahr Banou Sisizadeh, Comedy, Drama
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 no longer play with the boys she had been playing with only the day before because she is now a woman. Told from the perspective of a 9-year-old girl who does not feel like or know what the word “woman” refers to, we see how devastatingly this affects both the girl and the boy with whom she had been friends. The second part is about a young woman who decides to enter a bicycle race against her husband’s wishes. As first, the husband and then increasing numbers of men from her village ride beside her on horseback to convince her to return home. The race begins to symbolize a freedom that she desperately wants from the limitations that have been placed on her. Finally, the third part shows us an old woman who has come into some money and is now free to do what she wants.