Nargess, 1991, Rakhshan Banietemad

Nargess

Director: Rakhshan Banietemad; Screenplay: Rakhshan Banietemad, Fereydoun Jeyrani; Cinematography: Hossein Jafarian; Editing: Shirin Vahidi: Music: Mohammad Reza Aligholi; Cast: Farimah Farjami, Abolfazl Pourarab, Atefeh Razavi. Iran, 1991, DCP (shot on 35mm), color, 92 min. Persian with English subtitles
 
Banietemad's first feature as writer-director, Nargess is about the complex relationship between a separated couple, Afagh and Adel, who still work together as thieves. When Adel falls in love with young Nargess, Afagh introduces herself as Adel's mother to allow the new relationship to blossom. With a highly original script set in Iran's criminal underworld and Banietemad's assured direction, Nargess became an instant success and is now considered one of the most important entries in the history of Iranian film. Two popular Iranian stars, Farimah Farjami (Afagh) and Albolfazl Pour Arab (Adel), provide the fast-paced narrative with brilliant performances conveying the intense emotional dynamics of their confused relationship. Nargess deals with the brutal realities of poverty, crime, drug addiction, and the lack of structural support for ex-criminals, but it is also a story of friendship and hope. Shot in the slums and underprivileged neighborhoods of south Tehran, the film utilizes decrepit urban landscapes as a metaphor for the loneliness of its main characters. (T.A.)

With Rakhshan Banietemad in attendance on January 29

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