When forced to divorce his wife by family and social pressure because her mother is a prostitute, Nazar (Khodaparast) works double shifts to pay back the loan he took out for his impulsive wedding and to pay some ongoing restitution to his sweet jilted bride, Reyhaneh (Kosari). When he falls behind in the payments he flees the police and ends up in the desert with an uncommunicative old man (Gharibian) who catches poisonous snakes for their venom. These two are forced to coexist in the desert, because Nazar is unwilling to return to the city and wants to catch snakes to make enough money to settle his debts. His verbose, chattering annoys the reticent old man until Nazar’s life is endangered. Read More »
Directed by multi-award winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi, ‘Beautiful City’ is a cinematic gem not to be missed. Akbar has just turned eighteen. He has been held in a rehabilitation centre for committing murder at the age of sixteen when he was condemned to death. Legally speaking, he had to reach the age of eighteen so that the conviction could be carried out. Now, Akbar is transferred to prison to await the day of his execution. A’la, a friend of Akbar, who himself has undergone imprisonment for burglary, soon after his release tries desperately to gain the consent of Akbar’s plaintiff so as to stop the execution. ‘Beautiful City’ is a simple film about the power of forgiveness. Read More »
The Salesman tells the story of a young couple Emad and Rana who play the lead roles in a local rendition of Arthur Miller’s Death of a Salesman. Meanwhile, their personal relationship takes a hit after moving into a house that was previously inhabited by a woman who allegedly pursued a career in prostitution. Read More »
About Elly, Iranian director Asgher Farhadi’s fourth feature, is a tightly-knit, intense drama about a sunny story gone tragic. Winner of the Best Director award at the Berlinale this year, the film has two distinct moods: light-hearted and good-humoured for the first 45 minutes, sombre and tense for the rest.
Three young couples, a handful of children, Elly (the nursery school teacher of one of the kids) and Ahmad (a young friend returned from Germany following an unhappy marriage and a divorce from his German wife and vacationing in Iran for ten days) take a holiday on the Caspian Sea. They are carefree, raucous, determined to live it up. But one of the women – Sepideh – has a hidden agenda, an inoffensive one on the face of it: she wants to bring pretty Elly and Ahmad together. Read More »
An Iranian man deserts his French wife and two children to return to his homeland. Meanwhile, his wife starts up a new relationship, a reality her husband confronts upon his wife’s request for a divorce. Read More »
THE GUARDIAN review (contains plot details):
An unhappily married couple break up in this complex, painful, fascinating Iranian drama by writer-director Asghar Farhadi, with explosive results that expose a network of personal and social faultlines. A Separation is a portrait of a fractured relationship and an examination of theocracy, domestic rule and the politics of sex and class – and it reveals a terrible, pervasive sadness that seems to well up through the asphalt and the brickwork. In its depiction of national alienation in Iran, it’s comparable to the work of Jafar Panahi and Mohammad Rasoulof. But there is a distinct western strand. The film shows a middle-class household under siege from an angry outsider; there are semi-unsolved mysteries, angry confrontations and family burdens: an ageing parent and two children from warring camps appearing to make friends. All these things surely show the influence of Michael Haneke’s 2005 film Hidden. Farhadi, like Haneke, takes a scalpel to his bourgeois homeland. Read More »