Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, The Mirror, The Circle), who defies a filmmaking ban from the Iranian government each time he makes a new film, is always a director worth checking out. And how lucky we are for his tenacity… Full of metaphor, insight, and gentle humor, this remarkable film features some of his best filmmaking.
At the beginning of the film, a famous Iranian actress, Behnaz Jafari, receives a video plea from an impassioned teenager, Marziyeh (Marziyeh Rezaei). Describing how her family has thwarted her own ambitions to become an actress, the video pulls at Behnaz’s heartstrings. As the footage ends abruptly, with the defeated Marziyeh appearing to commit suicide, Jafari is shaken by the recording. Abandoning a film shoot to get to the root of what happened to the young teen, Jafari sets off to Marziyeh’s village in the company of her friend Panahi. Upon arrival, they meet with Marziyeh’s friends and apprehensive family, who remain unmoved in ostracizing their daughter for her choice of profession — a reaction rooted in the village’s traditional mindset. The more Jafari and Panahi discover about Marziyeh, the more they learn about the community around her and the inescapable bond between tradition and destiny. In Persian, Azerbaijani, & Turkish with subtitles.
(Iran / 2018 / Directed by Jafar Panahi)
R / 1 hr 43 mins.