100 minutes| Iran| 2011| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema

Winner of the Best Director prize in the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard strand this year, Goodbye is a powerful depiction of how Iran’s current political regime contrives to restrict the freedoms of women. Lawyer Noora (Leyla Zareh) is no longer allowed to practice her profession, and her journalist husband is in hiding. As part of a plan to obtain black market visas which will free them to leave Iran, Noora is pregnant. When difficulties with her pregnancy lead her to contemplate abortion, she tries to solicit action and information from various bureaucracies, often thwarted because she is a woman alone, without a man to ‘authorise’ her requests.

The film uses its accumulation of small details to create a sinister atmosphere of oppression around Noora, building to a quietly devastating conclusion. Zareh excels as the anguished woman at the heart of the film, managing to convey Noora’s resolve even in spite of the utter powerlessness and isolation she feels.<

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