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Mohammad Shirvani, 2013
Iran | Format: DCP | 85 minutes
A singular, cryptic, and ambiguous object that surely breaks with and subverts the orthodoxies of Iranian art cinema, and may be the first hint of the emergence of a new, younger generation of filmmakers. The action centers on an obese con man who uses his deaf-mute, cute adult son as bait to extort money from predatory young women looking for a boy-toy—until the pair’s sketchy life on the social margins is inexplicably upended by the arrival of a mysterious woman who makes herself at home, with unexpected consequences. The film may be an allegorical attack on patriarchy, but its emphasis on the grotesque and the absurd, its off-kilter, unstable style, and its enigmatic refusal to define itself in narrative terms signal the emergence of a talent looking to break fresh ground.