Iran

Ebrahim Golestan – Khesht va Ayeneh AKA Brick and Mirror (1965) (HD)

Hashem (Zakariya Hashemi) is a cab driver who finds an infant child in the back seat of his cab one night after he gives a ride to a young woman. Hashem and his girlfriend, Taji (Taji Ahmadi), try to cope with this unwanted child. Hashem insists on getting rid of the child, Taji on keeping him. Read More »

Amir Naderi – Jostoju AKA Search One (1980)

It all began with “Black Friday” – a massacre on Sept 8, 1978, by the Shah’s police. Official pronouncements put the death toll at 200, but the next day the people of Teheran witnessed how thousands of bodies were brought to Behast Zahra cemetery. Yet even this wasn’t the whole extent of the tragedy. As the families continued looking for their relatives they began to realize just how many had disappeared. Over the next few months the massacres continued, with many thousands more disappearing, until February 11th, 1979, victory day for the Revolution. Naderi’s film follows this search for the missing, through which the terrible truth is gradually revealed. The film is not only a documentary but also a document of a horrible crime. Read More »

Asghar Farhadi – Raghs dar ghobar AKA Dancing in the Dust (2003)

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 »

Abbas Kiarostami – Khane-ye doust kodjast? AKA Where Is the Friend’s House? (1987)

Quote:
The first film in Abbas Kiarostami’s sublime, interlacing Koker Trilogy takes a simple premise—a boy searches for the home of his classmate, whose school notebook he has accidentally taken—and transforms it into a miraculous child’s-eye adventure of the everyday. As our young hero zigzags determinedly across two towns, aided (and sometimes misdirected) by those he encounters, his quest becomes both a revealing portrait of rural Iranian society in all its richness and complexity and a touching parable about the meaning of personal responsibility. Sensitive and profound, Where Is the Friend’s House? is shot through with all the beauty, tension, and wonder a single day can contain. Read More »

Mohsen Makhmalbaf – Bicycleran AKA The Cyclist (1989)

Summary
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? Read More »

Fereydun Gole – Zir-e poost-e shab (1974)

IMDB:
In one of his daily wanderings, Ghassem Siah, a young jobless guy who leads a street life, runs into a young American tourist girl who is spending her last day in Tehran. Without understanding each other’s words, they strike up a friendship and the girl accepts to sleep with him. But Ghassem doesn’t have a place of his own and the girl is to depart by the next morning. Together they set off on the glistening yet hostile streets of modernizing Tehran of the 70s, in a futile search of a corner of intimacy, while time is ticking away…. Read More »

Asghar Farhadi – Shahr-e ziba AKA Beautiful City (2004)

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 »