No Date, No Signature
Bedoune Tarikh, Bedoune Emza
Panorama | Contemporary World Cinema
Vahid Jalilvand’s film gives us Dr. Nariman (Amir Agha’ee), a forensic pathologist and upstanding member of the community. When he injures a child in a motor vehicle accident, the good doctor is willing to take him to the hospital, but the kid’s father Musa (Navid Mohammadzadeh) declines his help. The doctor is shocked when he goes into work and discovers that the same boy is dead in the morgue. When the autopsy reveals the actual cause of death, Nariman seems to be off the hook—but his conscience won’t let him go. As for Musa, his nightmare is just beginning…
The dark cinematography of Peyman Shadmanfar sets the tone for this masterful movie, directed with a feel for menace by Jalilvand (Wednesday, May 9, VIFF 15). In the role of grief-stricken father, Mohammadzadeh acts up a storm; his anger is as sympathetic as it is scary. Besides being a riveting moral drama, No Date, No Signature offers a nuanced look at class and power relations in contemporary Iran. It’s a disquieting but profoundly satisfying movie.
Best Director, Fajr Film Festival 17