September 25, 2023

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Iranian movies line up for Reading film festival

TEHRAN – A lineup of 10 short movies by Iranian filmmakers will be screened at the 8th edition of the ReadingFilmFEST, which will be held in Pennsylvania, the U.S. from October 26 to 29. 

“Pass” by Elika Abdollahi, “Saudade” by Mehrdad Azizi Parsa, “Split Ends” by Alireza Kazemipur and “Survivor” by Karim Azimi are among the films. 

“Pass” is a fascinating drama about a poor woman that shows everyone is not trustworthy. 

“Saudade” tells the story of Houra, who is pregnant with her fourth child, but the baby’s gender creates a complex situation. Her husband’s family demands a boy for their inheritance plans, yet Houra’s pregnancy is dangerous, and the doctor warns it could threaten her life. With a history of miscarriages, Houra must decide between the pressure to give birth to a male heir and the prospects of endangering her health.

“Split Ends” follows a bald woman and a man with long hair who try to get out of paying fines when traffic cameras catch them not wearing a hijab. Police surveillance cameras have mistaken the boy for a woman because of his long hair, and the young girl, despite her shaved head, has to pay the fine simply because the hijab law only applies to women.   

“Survivor” portrays some immigrants waiting by the sea for them to be able to cross it. A young couple is going with the other immigrants to the light of the world, but they have problems when their baby is born.

The lineup also includes “The Gold Teeth”, “Disgrace” and “Another Day”. 

Directed by Alireza Kazemipur, “The Gold Teeth” is about an Afghan refugee in Canada, who asks a refugee dentist to extract her late father’s gold teeth before they bury him. 

“Disgrace” by Ali Riahi tells the story of Nessa, a young woman, who is preparing to tie the knot, but her brother is determined to halt the wedding due to his possession of a significant secret concerning his sister.

Directed by Sahand Khalaj, “Another Day” recounts the story of a disabled photographer with cerebral palsy earns his living taking photographers for people passing by.  When he reveals his interest in a local cafe worker, the girl avoids their usual encounters.

The festival will also screen “The Creature” by Mohammadreza Yarikia, “We are all Dogs” by Aminreza Alimohammadi and “For Child Never Born” by Afsaneh Aqanejad. 

“The Creature” follows the story of a couple, who goes to a forest to sacrifice an animal to the goblins in order for their child to be born healthy, but they are not alone in this forest. The woman considers this a superstition until she believes it herself.

“We are all Dogs” is about a happy family in a sad world, a world where there is no place for rejected creatures.

“For Child Never Born” recounts the story of a young girl, who is forced to grow up upon her father’s death and mother’s unexpected pregnancy.

Photo: A scene from “Pass” by Elika Abdollahi



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