91 minutes| Iran| 2006| Subtitled| Colour| 35mm

Winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival, but also banned in Iran, the hugely likeable Offside, while much lighter in tone than The Circle, shows equal conviction in its criticism of the absurdities foisted upon Iranian women by the rule of the law.

Filmed during an actual match in Iran’s qualifying campaign for the 2006 World Cup, we first follow a young girl trying to sneak her way into the stadium, as attendance at sporting events is forbidden to women. Foiled, she is brought to a holding pen with others who had the same idea. As the girls try to persuade their guards to let them into the stadium, the film becomes an amusing battle of wits between the two groups, with a truly uplifting ending. While it’s obvious where Panahi’s sympathies lie, he also subtly portrays the guards as being as trapped in their positions as the girls are in theirs.<

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