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Film Selection: Iran

The human rights community in Iran is in an exposed and dangerous position, subject to severe persecution and without effective support from the international community. International tensions provide a pretext for increasing repression within Iran, and remove human rights from the international agenda.

The vibrant social movements in Iran—movements, inter alia, of women, students, and workers— work courageously in an un-free environment, subject to tremendous official pressures. They urgently need and welcome international concerns and solidarity, which must be strengthened through more effective support from international civil society and intergovernmental institutions.

 

ASeparation.jpgA Separation

Director: Asghar Faradi

Year: 2011

Country:Iran

Length: 123 min

Set in contemporary Iran, A SEPARATION is a compelling drama about the dissolution of a marriage. Simin wants to leave Iran with her husband Nader and daughter Termeh. Simin sues for divorce when Nader refuses to leave behind his Alzheimer-suffering father. Her request having failed, Simin returns to her parents' home, but Termeh decides to stay with Nader.

When Nader hires a young woman to assist with his father in his wife's absence, he hopes that his life will return to a normal state. However, when he discovers that the new maid has been lying to him, he realizes that there is more on the line than just his marriage.

In 2012 the film was nominated for Cinema for Peace Award for the Most Valuable Movie of the Year for shining a light on the Iranian society.

Rent the film: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/a-separation/id548686225

 

Goodbye.jpgBé Omid é Didar

Director: Mohammad Rasoulof

Year: 2011

Country: Iran

Length: 100 min

A young female lawyer barred from practicing decides to leave Iran no matter what the cost. The brave but challenging pic offers a quietly devastating critique of contempo Iran that many will read as a personal response to Rasoulof's recent legal troubles with the government. While unlikely to screen on home turf under the current regime, fest and niche arthouse play can be expected in most other territories.

Unable to work at her profession for reasons left unspecified, Noora (Leyla Zareh, terrific) spends her days making the rounds of various government and medical bureaucracies, her desire for quick action and decisive information continually frustrated, often because she is a woman alone. At night she's so exhausted that she can barely manage to complete the piecework she has taken on in order to earn some money.

Gradually, it becomes clear that her journalist husband has fled some imminent crackdown by the state. Noora, meanwhile, has secretly contracted with a black market agency to obtain visas so they might leave the country. Having followed the agency's advice to become pregnant, she now faces further agonizing decisions when blood tests reveal she is carrying a Down syndrome child.

Rent the film: https://mubi.com/films/goodbye--3


thisisnotafilmposter2.jpgThis is Not a Film

Director: Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb

Year: 2011

Country: Iran

Length: 75 min

This clandestine documentary, shot partially on an iPhone and smuggled into France in a cake for a last-minute submission to Cannes, depicts the day-to-day life of acclaimed director Jafar Panahi (OFFSIDE, THE CIRCLE) during his house arrest in his Tehran apartment. While appealing his sentence – six years in prison and a 20 year ban from filmmaking – Panahi is seen talking to his family and lawyer on the phone, discussing his plight with Mirtahmasb and reflecting on the meaning of the art of filmmaking.

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.co.uk/This-Not-Film-Jafar-Panahi/dp/B007L0EQKW


TheGreenWave.jpgThe Green Wave

Director: Ali Samadi Ahadi

Year: 2010

Country: Germany

Length: 80 min

The Green Wave is a touching documentary-collage illustrating the dramatic events and telling about the feelings of the people behind this revolution. Facebook reports, Twitter messages and videos posted in the internet were included in the film composition, and hundreds of real blog entries served as reference for the experiences and thoughts of two young students, whose story is running through the film as the main thread.

The film describes their initial hope and curiosity, their desperate fear, and the courage to yet continue to fight. These fictional 'storylines' have been animated as a motion comic – sort of a moving comic – framing the deeply affecting pictures of the revolution and the interviews with prominent human rights campaigners and exiled Iranians. Ali Samadi Ahadi's documentary is a very contemporary chronicle of the Green Revolution and a memorial for all of those who believed in more freedom and lost their lives for that.

Rent the film: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-green-wave/id547207932


copy_of_TheHouseUnderTheWater.jpgThe House Under the Water

Director: Sepideh Farsi

Year: 2010

Country: France, Iran, Germany, Netherlands, Morroco

Length: 92 min

Thirty years ago, Morteza and his best friend Taher were involved in a tragic accident, in which Taher's younger brother drowned. Fast-forward three decades and we meet Morteza again, freshly-released from prison and looking to rebuild his life. But soon the past catches up with him when he is suspected of the death of another drowned child. The police officer investigating the case turns out to be none other than Taher. Taher initially believes Morteza to be guilty but as the common, private bond between the two men comes to the fore, he becomes increasingly convinced of his old friend's innocence - and sets out to prove it. But does the long shadow of the pair's past obscure the truth or is Morteza really guilty of murder?

 

women_without_men.jpgWomen Without Men

Director: Shirin Neshat

Year: 2009

Country: Germany, Austria, France, Italy, Ukraine, Morroco

Length: 95 min

Women Without Men is Shirin Neshat's independent film adaptation of Shahrnush Parsipur's magic realist novel. The story chronicles the intertwining lives of four Iranian women during the summer of 1953; a cataclysmic moment in Iranian history when an American led, British backed coup d'état brought down the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, and reinstalled the Shah to power.

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.de/Women-without-Men-Pegah-Ferydoni/dp/B004H7MD6Q


Tehranwithoutpermission.jpgTehran Without Permission

Director: Sepideh Farsi

Year: 2009

Country: France, Iran

Length: 83 min

Sepideh Farsi left Tehran in her teens, yet has always remained under the spell of Iran's lively capital. In Tehran Without Permission, Farsi creates a collage-style portrait of a city in flux. Via a mixture of characters and cityscapes, Farsi's covert filming reveals a city beset with social and political tensions, yet held aloft by the indomitable spirit and character of its population. Featuring a mixture of footage around the capital with more in-depth essays dealing with diverse aspects of life in contemporary Iran, this is a compelling account of a city in transition.


Footballundercover.jpgFootball Undercover

Director: David Assmann, Ayat Najafi

Year: 2008

Country: Germany

Length: 86 min

An amateur female soccer team from Berlin goes on a nerve-wracking journey trying to carry out the first female soccer match in the history of Iran.

Tehran in April 2006: The first official friendly match takes place between the Iranian women's football team and a local Berlin girl's team in front of more than 1000 cheering female fans. It has taken a year's work on the part of both teams to make this happen. But now, overcoming numerous obstacles they are finally playing and those 30 minutes are about more than just a football game. Both the desire for self determination and equality are being expressed here and it is clear change is possible.

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.com/Football-Under-Cover-Region-2/dp/B001X9IVN0


stoning_of_soraya_m.jpgThe Stoning of Soraya M.

Director: Cyrus Nowrasteh

Year: 2008

Country: USA

Length: 114 min

In 2010 the film was honoured with the Cinema for Peace Award for Justice.

A drama set in 1986 Iran and centered on a man, Sahebjam, whose car breaks down in a remote village and enters into a conversation with Zahra, who relays to him the story about her niece, Soraya, whose arranged marriage to an abusive tyrant had a tragic ending.

Rent the film: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-stoning-of-soraya-m./id359015031

 

Persepolis.JPGPersepolis

Director: Vincent Paronnaud, Marjane Satrapi

Year: 2007

Country: France, USA

Length: 96 min

In 2008 the film was honoured with the Cinema for Peace Award for the Most Valuable Movie of the Year.

In 1970s Iran, Marjane 'Marji' Statrapi watches events through her young eyes and her idealistic family of a long dream being fulfilled of the hated Shah's defeat in the Iranian Revolution of 1979. However as Marji grows up, she witnesses first hand how the new Iran, now ruled by Islamic fundamentalists, has become a repressive tyranny on its own. With Marji dangerously refusing to remain silent at this injustice, her parents send her abroad to Vienna to study for a better life. However, this change proves an equally difficult trial with the young woman finding herself in a different culture loaded with abrasive characters and profound disappointments that deeply trouble her. Even when she returns home, Marji finds that both she and homeland have changed too much and the young woman and her loving family must decide where she truly belongs.

Rent the film: https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/persepolis/id520838661

 

SepidehFarsi.jpegThe Gaze

Director: Sepideh Farsi

Year: 2006

Country: France

Length: 86 min

Esfandyar, an Iranian expatriate in Paris on the verge of loosing his sight, returns to Iran after a twenty year absence. He has to confront the ghosts of his past. His father, who is about to die, and his old love Forough, who has married Esfandyar's father in the meantime, thus becoming his stepmother. Among political betrayals of the past and his love conflict with Forough, Esfandyar has many accounts to settle before he sinks in the darkness.

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.com/Sepideh-Farsi-Collection-Journey-NON-USA/dp/B003JHTCLY

 

Offside.jpgOffside

Director: Jafar Panahi

Year: 2006

Country: Iran

Length: 93 min

Struggle of women in a country that excludes them from entering the stadiums.

Buy the film: http://www.amazon.com/Offside/dp/B000S0GYD4?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1190585039&sr=1-1

 

 

Hekmat.jpgWomen Come Out of the House

Director: Manijeh Hekmat

Year: 2006

Country: Iran

Length: 95 min

This documentary features Shirin Ebadi, an Iranian activist who won the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize award for her efforts promoting human rights in Iran. It presents a realistic picture of shifting identities for Iranian women today and defies stereotypes by showing a variety of Iranian women in rural and urban areas, educated and uneducated, devout and not, young and old - all with strong points of views about what it is like to be a woman in contemporary Iran.


TheCircle.jpgThe Circle

Director: Jafar Panahi

Year: 2000

Country: Iran, Italy, Switzerland

Length: 90 min

Various women struggle to function in the oppressively sexist society of contemporary Iran.

Rent the film: https://mubi.com/films/the-circle

Recommended Films on Iran