A little while ago, when Majid Majidi’s film Baran (‘rain’) was selected by Screen publications as the best Iranian film, I asked myself who chose these films. It must have been who hadn’t seen a large enough amount of good Iranian movies.
Seeing as the artwork of a country is an important part of its culture, I delegated myself as an amateur knower of films and as a native Iranian and prepared for you a list of the works of Iranian directors that shine in our name, that I strongly suggest you find a way to watch.
Note: These films are, for the most part, available with English subtitles on Youtube.
“A bitter ending is better than an endless bitterness.”
About Elly (dir. Asghar Farhadi, 2009)
One of the best film I’ve watched in a very long time. Farhadi’s control over his script is praiseworthy and allows him to build a constant state of tension and confusion until the very last shot of the film. And what a great cast too.
Never released in the United States, the 2009 Iranian mystery About Ellycenters on a kindergarten teacher invited on a beach trip by the mother of one of her students. It was the fourth feature of director Asghar Farhadi, who in 2011 won an Academy Award for his fifth, A Separation. Now About Elly is getting a belated U.S. release, and critic David Edelstein says it was worth the wait:
“The suspense is Hitchockian, while Farhadi’s use of space recalls the great black and white films of Ingmar Bergman and Michelangelo Antonioni. After a terrifying scene in which the characters plunge into the wild sea, the easy, graceful groupings of the film’s first third fragment. Individuals now stand on different planes and at odd, unsettling angles as they move closer and closer to a resolution that’s crushingly sad. Even more potently than in A Separation, Farhadi evokes a society in which the alienation is absolute.”