Mohammad Rasoulof – Gagooman AKA The Twilight (2002)

Plainly but nonetheless effectively handled, “The Twilight” relates a case of prison recidivism with the real-life subjects playing themselves. Chance to glimpse incarceration and ex-con life in Iran will hold attention for foreign viewers, though this very modest, earnest exercise in old-school social problem cinema ultimately proves that the related issues are pretty much the same the world over. Fest and educational play are signaled.

Docudrama commences with Ali-Reza Shalikaran, a 34-year-old inmate who’s spent most of his life in custody for theft, noted as a habitual problem by his warden. Latter wisely realizes that a prison job change will soften Ali’s oft-flaring temper, then has a further brainstorm: Wouldn’t Ali truly “settle down” if he were to find a wife among the female prisoners? This leads to courtship and wedlock with Fatemeh Bijan (very stiff on-screen). Soon pregnant thanks to weekly conjugal visits, she’s released a few months before his term ends. But their attempt at starting over is thwarted by fact that no one wants to hire an ex-con. Simply shot on actual locations, feature has a rough-hewn naturalism that’s engaging, despite some awkward dramatic moments.

1.22GB | 1h 19m | 698×539 | mkv

Subtitles:English (hardcoded)

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