Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Iran-born, Germany-based animator Ali Soozandeh fearlessly skewers the sexual taboos and other double-standards of Iranian society in his debut feature, one of the highlights of this year’s Cannes Critics’ Week.
Using rotoscoped characters and a combination of 3D and drawn elements for the backdrop, he concocts three intersecting stories. The first centers on Pari, a brazen, warmhearted prostitute, who drags her young son Elias along on house-calls and automobile quickies. Pari’s drug-addicted husband is in prison, but she can’t get the divorce papers signed until she agrees to be the concubine of a corrupt religious court judge who stashes her in a nice flat in an upscale, doorman-tended building. There, Pari meets pregnant Sara, an unhappily married woman trying to devise a way to get out from under the thumb of her oppressive inlaws. Pari’s path also crosses with Babak, a struggling musician, whose one night stand with Donya, a professed bride to be, leaves him struggling to find the money to pay for an operation to restore her virginity.
"This wily account of 20-something Iranians negotiating an assault course of laws and prohibitions to get their kicks fizzes with energy and bad behaviour."—Wendy Ide, Screen