Offside

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Panahi winning the Berlin Silver Bear in 2006 ...

Panahi winning the Berlin Silver Bear in 2006 for his Offside (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Offside (Persian: آفساید ‎) is a 2006 Iranian film directed by Jafar Panahi, about girls who try to watch a World Cup qualifying match but are forbidden by law because of their sex. Female fans are not allowed to enter football stadiums in Iran on the grounds that there will be a high risk of violence or verbal abuse against them. The film was inspired by the director’s daughter, who decided to attend a game anyway. The film was shot in Iranbut its screening was banned there.

Most of the characters in the film are not named.

A girl disguises herself as a boy to go attend the 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain. She travels by bus with a group of male fans, some of whom notice her gender, but do not tell anyone. At the stadium, she persuades a reluctant ticket tout to sell her a ticket; he only agrees to do so at an inflated price. The girl tries to slip through security, but she is spotted and arrested. She is put in a holding pen on the stadium roof with several other women who have also been caught; the pen is frustratingly close to a window onto the match, but the women are at the wrong angle to see it.

The women are guarded by several soldiers, all of whom are just doing their national service; one in particular is a country boy from Tabriz who just wants to return to his farm. The soldiers are bored and do not particularly care whether women should be allowed to attend football matches; however, they guard the women carefully for fear of their “chief”, who could come by at any moment. They occasionally give commentary on the match to the women.

One of the younger girls needs to go to the toilet, but of course there is no women’s toilet in the stadium. A soldier is deputed to escort her to the men’s toilet, which he does by an increasingly farcical process: first disguising her face with a poster of a football star, then throwing a number of angry men out of the toilet and blockading any more from entering. During the chaos, the girl escapes into the stadium, although she returns to the holding pen shortly after as she is worried about the soldier from Tabriz getting into trouble.

Part of the way through the second half of the game, the women are bundled into a bus, along with a boy arrested for carrying fireworks, and the soldiers ordered to drive them to the Vice Squad headquarters. As the bus travels through Tehran, the soldier from Tabriz plays the radio commentary on the match as it concludes. Iran defeats Bahrain 1-0 with a goal from Nosrati just after half time and wild celebrations erupt within the bus as the women and the soldiers cheer and sing with joy. The girl whose story began the film is the only one not happy. When asked why, she explains that she is not really interested in football; she wanted to attend the match because a friend of hers was one of seven people killed in a scuffle during the recent Iran-Japan match, and she wanted to see the match in his memory.

The city of Tehran explodes with festivity, and the bus becomes caught in a traffic jam as a spontaneous street party begins. Borrowing seven sparklers from the boy with the fireworks, the women and the soldiers leave the bus and join the party, holding the sparklers above them.

The film was filmed at an actual stadium, at a real life qualifying match for the Iranian National team. And Panahi had two separate outcomes to the film depending on the turnout of the match.

  • Sima Mobarak-Shahi as First girl
  • Shayesteh Irani as Smoking girl
  • Ayda Sadeqi as Soccer girl
  • Golnaz Farmani as Girl with tchador
  • Mahnaz Zabihi as Female soldier
  • Nazanin Sediq-zadeh as Young girl

The film appeared on several critics’ top ten lists of the best films of 2007.

Website

A Few Days Later

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Niki Karimi (b. November 10, 1971) Iranian act...

Niki Karimi (b. November 10, 1971) Iranian actress and motion picture director. Licensing: Source: Wikipedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Niki_Karimi01.jpg. The present photograph has been derived from one by Jeffdelong. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

A Few Days Later (Chand Rooz Ba’d) is a 2006 motion picture by Niki Karimi. The script for the movie won the Hubert Bals Fund of the Rotterdam Film Festival.

The Willow Tree

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Cover of "The Willow Tree"

Cover of The Willow Tree

The Willow Tree (Persian: بید مجنون ‎, translit. Bid-e Majnoon) is a 2005 Iranian film directed by Majid Majidi. It tells the story of Youssef, a man blinded in a fireworks accident, when eight years old. After an operation he regains his vision, changing his life in unexpected ways. It was filmed from 10 February 2004 – 10 August 2004 in both Tehran and Paris.

The Willow Tree

The Night Bus

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The Night Bus (Persian: اتوبوس شب, Otobus-e Shab‎) is the name of an Iranian motion picture directed by Kiumars Pourahmad. It was made in 2006 and released in 2007.

The Night Bus

The Night Bus

The film, which is in sharp monochrome, relates the story of a twenty-four-hour-long journey of two young Iranian soldiers (Issā and Emād) and a civilian driver (Amu Rahim) transporting thirty-eight Iraqi prisoners of war, taken from behind the Iraqi line, to a garrison inside Iran. From the details one is informed that the Iran–Iraq War has entered into its third year. The film masterfully depicts the deep inhumanity of acts of war amongst nations by showing the shared humanity of the combatants on both sides. Some scenes of the above-mentioned garrison are reminiscent of those of the 1965 British film The Hill.

In the film, the Iranian characters speak Persian amongst themselves, with a variety of regional accents — emphasising the national character of the war effort, but broken Arabic, comprehensible to a Persian-speaking person, when addressing the Iraqi prisoners. The Arabic dialogues of the film, by the prisoners, are accompanied by Persian subtitles.

  • Khosrow Shakibā’í: Amu (Uncle), and at times Amu Rahim (Uncle Rahim) and Āghā Joon (Sir my soul), the bus driver. Although it is never stated, the film suggests that Amu Rahim’s own son is an Iranian POW in Iraqi hands.
  • Mehrdād Sedighiān: Issā (Jesu[disambiguation needed ]), the 18-year old Iranian soldier from Abadan; he is often called by Amu Rahim, somewhat derogatorily, as Bach’cheh (Child, Juvenile); as the emotional bond between the two strengthens, Amu calls Issā once as Issā Jān (Issā my soul). Issā has entered into military service at the age of 16, when his father was killed while defending Abadan; at the outset of the War, the father had sent his entire family, with the exception of Issā, to his brother’s home in another Iranian city for safety.
  • Amir-Mohammd Zand: Emād, the second and the more senior Iranian soldier/officer. Emād had just started studying in London when the War broke out, whereon he volunteered as an officer in the army.
  • Elnāz Shākerdoust: Reyhāneh, wife of Emād. She and Emād, along with her parents, had been living in London. When Emād volunteered to serve in the War effort, she returned with Emād to Iran, leaving the parents in London.
  • Mohammad-Reza Foroutan: Fārouq (Fārouq Abd al-Amir), an Iraqi POW whose father is Iraqi and mother Iranian. It turns out that two of Fārouq’s brothers are on the run from the henchmen of Saddam Hossein and a third brother and a sister are in Saddam Hossein‘s jails, awaiting execution.
  • Kourosh Soleimani: Sirvān (Sirvān Foād), an Iraqi POW from Iraq’s Kurdistan and a recent medical graduate. Prior to the War, Sirvān had been studying medicine in London; he had only returned to Iraq for bringing his family into safety, but forcefully drafted into the Iraqi army.
  • Ahmad Kavari: An Iraqi POW and a member of Iraq’s Baath Party.
  • Mehrān Nātel: An Iranian tank driver from Esfahan (this as betrayed by his Esfahani accent) who despite having fought valiantly and helped capturing some tanks from Iraqis, seems to be unable to think ill of any one; he appears to live mentally in an Utopian world of his own. Although Mehrān Nātel’s appearance in the film is very brief, he shows himself as another extraordinarily talented young actor of the Iranian cinema.

Directed by Kiumars Pourahmad

Ekhrajiha

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Masoud Dehnamaki iranian journalist فارسی: مسع...

Masoud Dehnamaki iranian journalist فارسی: مسعود دهنمکی ردبیر و مدیرمسؤول و فیلم‌ساز (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ekhrajiha (Persian: اخراجی ها‎, English: The Outcasts) is a 2007 Iranian film, written and directed by Masoud Dehnamaki, set during the Iran–Iraq War.

The film is Dehnamaki’s first feature film, after he directed two documentaries about social problems in Iran. Dehnamaki is known to be one of Iran’s most extreme ultra-conservatives, with his viewpoints being extremely controversial.

The film had also broken all box-office records in Iran, earning nearly 1 billion toman only twenty-eight days after its release and finishing its run with over 2 billion toman. Additionally the film is one of few Iranian war movies in which the heroes are extremely flawed and shown to commit acts often viewed as “immoral” by authorities in Iran.

The movie, set in 1988 begins when Majid (Kambiz Dirbaz), a local thug from Southern Tehran is freed from prison along with his friend Amir (Arzhang Amirfazli). To avoid embarrassment, Majid and his friends have told his family and neighborhood that Majid is returning from Hajj at Mecca. His lie though is revealed after some mistakes by Amir and his other friend Bayram (Akbar Abdi).

Majid has been attempting to show that he is an honorable man so he can marry Narges (Niousha Zeyghami), the daughter of Mirza (Manouchehr Azar); a pious man in the neighborhood. Bayram on the other hand wants to marry Majid’s sister Marzieh (Negar Forouzandeh). In order to impress Narges and her father, Majid decides he must go to the front and fight against the Iraqi Army.

Majid, Amir, Bayram, Mostafa (Alireza Osivand), Bijan (Amin Hayai) and a local musician sign up for the war and head off to training. Here they are met with opposition by Haj Saleh (Mohamad Reza Sharifinia) and Kamali (Ghasem Zareh), who question their faith as Majid and his friends don’t pray, gamble, use foul language, smoke and use drugs. They are eventually kicked out of training but with the help of an acquaintance from the neighborhood named Morteza (Javad Hashemi) they are allowed to go back to training.

Morteza attempts to “reform” Majid and his friends as they go through the last days of the Iran–Iraq War.

Football Under Cover

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Football Under Cover

Football Under Cover (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Football Under Cover is a 2008 German/Iranian documentary film directed by David Assmann and Ayat Najafi. It follows the attempts of German Marlene Assmann and Iranian Ayat Najafi to organise a football match between Assman’s team BSV Aldersimspor and the Iranian national woman’s team.

At the 2008 Berlin International Film Festival, Football Under Cover won the Teddy Award for Best Documentary Film and the Teddy Audience Award.

  • Directed
  • David Assmann
  • Ayat Najafi
  • Produced
  • Helge Albers
  • Roshanak Behesht Nedjad
  • Patrick Merkle
  • Written
  • Corinna Assmann
  • David Assmann
  • Marlene Assmann
  • Valerie Assmann
  • Ayat Najafi
  • Music
  • Niko Schabel
  • Cinematography
  • Niclas Reed Middleton
  • Anne Misselwitz
  • Editing
  • Sylke Rohrlach

 

The Song of Sparrows

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The Song of Sparrows (Avaze gonjeshk-ha) (Persian: آواز گنجشک‌ها ‎) is a 2008 Iranian movie directed by Majid Majidi. It tells the story of Karim, a man who works at an ostrich farm until he is fired because one of the ostriches fled. He finds a new job in Tehran, but he faces new problems in his personal life.  This film opened to critical acclaim.

Karim works at an ostrich farm outside of Tehran, Iran. He leads a simple and contented life with his family in his small house, until one day when one of the ostriches runs away. Karim is blamed for the loss and is fired from the farm. Soon after, he travels to the city in order to repair his elder daughter’s hearing aid but finds himself mistaken for a motorcycle taxi driver. Thus begins his new profession: ferrying people and goods through heavy traffic. However, the people and goods he is dealing with every day start to change Karim’s generous and honest nature, much to the distress of his wife and daughters. It is up to those closest to him to restore the values that he once cherished.

Directed by Majid Majidi
Produced by Majid Majidi
Written by Majid Majidi
Mehran Kashani
Starring Reza Naji
Music by Hossein Alizadeh
Release date(s) February 2008
Country Iran
Language Persian, Azeri