Director: RAFI PITTS

90 minutes| Iran-Germany| 2010| Subtitled| Colour| D-Cinema

This startling new film from Rafi Pitts offers such a politically forthright statement on today’s Iran you can hardly believe it got made. After director Jafar Panahi’s imprisonment put cinema centre stage in the conflict between the Iranian authorities and the ‘green’ opposition, along comes this provocative study of a man driven over the edge when his wife and child are killed in a gun battle between police and ‘insurgents’. His response is to take his rifle to a busy Tehran motorway and get a cop car in his sights . . .

Reminiscent of Peter Bogdanovich’s Targets or even the L.A. scenes in Antonioni’s Zabriskie Point, Pitts’ tense drama generates doomy foreboding through brilliant use of sound and locations, though its seething portrayal of a society at an impasse is also touchingly cognisant of the urgent need for understanding. Remarkable stuff, especially considering Pitts also had to take the lead role at short notice when his original actor dropped out. (Notes by Trevor Johnston).

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