Iranian Film Festival, "Tales" PastSaturday, Jan 2, 2016 ,
The twentieth anniversary of the Iranian Film Festival begins with the latest feature from Rakhshan Bani-E’temad, Iran’s most famous female filmmaker. During a career spanning more than three decades, she has built a reputation as a defiant and clear-eyed chronicler of her country’s social ills, especially as they affect women.
Retrospective in scope, Tales weaves together a series of short films (which are subject to less scrutiny from Iranian authorities than their full-length counterparts are) featuring a number of characters from Bani-E’temad’s previous work. The stories offer a surprisingly candid look at problems ranging from Iran’s corrupt bureaucracy to single motherhood to drug addiction and the AIDS crisis. “The result is darkly unsettling . . . full of emotional confrontations and on-the-money acting from Iran’s finest. . . . An emotional rollercoaster that alternately soars towards tragedy and dips back into comedy” (Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter). (Dir.: Rakhshan Bani-E’temad, Iran, 2014, 88 min., DCP, Persian with English subtitles)
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