Rusari Abi (The Blue Veiled), 1994, Rakhshan Banietemad

Rusari Abi (The Blue Veiled)

Director, Screenplay: Rakhshan Banietemad; Cimetography: Aziz Sa'ati; Editing: Abbas Ganjavi; Music: Ahmad Pejman; Cast: Ezzatolah Entezami, Fatemah Motamed-Aria, Golab Adineh. Iran, 1994, DCP (shot on 35mm), color, 78 min. Persian with English subtitles  


An older factory owner, Rasul, falls in love with one of his young employees, the blue-veiled Nobar. Society at large, as represented by Rasul's family, is shocked by the news. One of Banietemad's most explicitly political, socially charged, and beautiful films, The Blue Veiled dares to tell the story of a cross-class, cross-generational relationship, combining the sublime beauty of All That Heaven Allows with the raw edge of Ali: Fear Eats the Soul. Critically lauded in Iran and the recipient of the Bronze Leopard at the Locarno International Film Festival, The Blue Veiled is a prime example of Banietemad's interest in unveiling class segregation in contemporary Iranian society. It is also a critique of this society's inability to bridge vast economic and cultural gaps while still showing Banietemad's faith in individual pride and integrity that can raise people above poverty. The Blue Veiled's protagonists are unhappy and miserable because they are subjected to unwanted social confines and pressures, which force them to accept decisions they do not want to make and fight with each other in spite of the great love they share. (T.A.)