Reza Dormishian – Boghz AKA Hatred (2012)

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Quote:
Jaleh and Hamid are two youngsters from the third generation of Iranian immigrants in Turkey. Their families came here to have a peaceful life. We see two parallel narrations from two different periods of the young characters’ lives. One narration is about their first days of meeting and happiness. The other is about the eight crucial hours when they commit a robbery so they can use the money to start a happy life somewhere else. However, as often happens in such cases, they are led in a different direction. Continue reading

Mohsen Islamzadeh – Sunnis in Iran -How Sunni Muslims live in a Shiite country (2015)

At the time of the Egyptian crisis, Ahmad Mustafa, an economic and political analyst from Egypt, finds an opportunity to travel to Iran to meet and talk Sunni people; an 11000 kilometer journey; a memorable visit, from the country’s most important decision-making centers to its most outlying border areas, from the green strands of the Caspian Sea forests to the Khorasan and Baluchistan desert areas and the high mountains of Kurdistan. On this journey he hopes he will know the real Iran, a country frequently misrepresented by Western and Arab media. How Sunni Muslims live in a Shiite country? That’s the question that’s brought Ahmad Mustafa to Iran. Continue reading

Jafar Panahi – Talaye sorkh AKA Crimson Gold (2003)

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Synopsis :
A murder and a suicide occur early one morning in a jewelry store. Behind this headline lies the story of a desperate man’s feelings of humiliation in a world of social injustice …
When his friend Ali shows him the contents of a lost purse, Hussein cannot imagine the large sum of money marked on a receipt for an expensive necklace. He knows that his pitiful salary will never be enough to afford such luxury. Hussein feels even lower on the social scale when a smooth-talking professional thief mistakes the two friends for petty crooks. Hussein receives yet another blow when he and Ali are denied entry to an uptown jewelry store because of their appearance.
Hussein’s job delivering pizzas allows him a full view of the contrast between rich and poor. He motorbikes every evening to neighborhoods he will never live in for a closer look at what goes on behind closed doors. The hypocrisy of the system is thrown in his face wherever he turns.
But Hussein will taste the luxurious life for one night before his deep feelings of humiliation push him over the edge. Continue reading

Abbas Kiarostami – Avaliha aka First Graders (1984)

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From IMDb:
A documentary film about a boys school in Iran. The film shows numerous, funny and moving interviews of many different young pupils of this school summoned by their superintendent for questions of discipline. The man is not severe, but clever and fair. He teaches loyalty, fellowship and righteousness to these boys. Besides these interviews, we see scenes of this school’s quotidian life. Written by Jean-Louis Sauger Continue reading

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – Scream of the Ants (2006)

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Plot Synopsis from allmovie:
As a newlywed couple boards a train bound for India and are forced to reconcile atheism and faith in director Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s spiritual-themed drama. He is a non-believer that is consumed by doubt, and she has faith that life’s answers will come to her through prayer. Though there is little that this newlywed couple can agree upon — including the prospect of having children — they do love each other and are intent upon sharing a spiritual honeymoon. In the midst of a philosophical debate, a holy man on the tracks forces the train to grind to a halt. While the local beggars revere the man for his power over the imposing locomotives, the truth is much less mystical. Years ago the man failed in committing suicide on the tracks when the oncoming train saw him and slowed down. These days he is compelled by the beggars to reenact the “miracle” daily so that the train will stop and they can collect alms from the passengers. Continue reading

Abbas Kiarostami – Tadjrebeh aka Experience (1973)

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Plot: Earning his keep at a photography studio where he also sleeps, an orphan aspires to be closer to the object of his affection, an older girl from a higher social class.

Quote:
An adolescent boy, old for his years like so many of Kiarostami’s (or Iran’s) working children, juggles a job as a photographer’s assistant, a first crush, and the urge to sample adulthood’s temptations (cigarettes and movies). This beautiful exercise in storytelling virtually without words is shot with the crispness and stark contrasts of Kiarostami’s still photography. But this vista teems with humanity—not only that of the boy, who is essentially without family (he sleeps at the photography lab), but of the adults he encounters (and who invariably let him down) on the urban pathways he courses. In his young actor, Kiarostami found a face and soul made for the screen. —Judy Bloch Continue reading