Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iran, 2017, 117 min.). Digital. Persian with English subtitles.
Filmed in secret in rural northern Iran by Mohammad Rasoulof (Iron Island, Manuscripts Don’t Burn) while an as-yet unexecuted prison sentence hung over his head, this biting critique of contemporary Iranian culture can be summed up by one character’s pessimistic line: “in this country you’re either the oppressed or the oppressor.” Its title character, Reza (Reza Akhlaghirad), is a Tehrani who moves to the country in order to live a peaceful, principled life running a goldfish farm, only to find himself in a corrupt town run by a corrupt and mysterious company that has designs on his property.
Synopsis courtesy of the Freer|Sackler at the Smithsonian Institution.
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