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Unveiled

Director: Angelina Maccarone

2005. English subtitles. Colour. Dolby digital stereo. 97 min.


Unveiled is a well-acted and accessible lesbian drama that also flirts with issues like loss of identity and anti-Muslim tensions. Spunky German actress-singer Jasmin Tabatabai, born in Iran, essays one of the most challenging roles of her career as Fariba, first seen in traditional chador on a flight from Tehran. Arriving in Germany, she’s promptly arrested for having forged travel documents. Fariba applies for asylum, claiming she was persecuted for political reasons. Only when she manages to call her female lover, who’s still back in Iran, does the viewer learn the real reason for Fariba’s flight to the West. While in the airport detention centre, Fariba gets to know young student activist Siamak, who kills himself rather than be deported. Assuming Siamak’s identity, Fariba gets a labouring job in a sauerkraut factory near Stuttgart, where she finds herself falling for co-worker Anne (Anneke Kim Sarnau), an attractive single mother. The film’s plot may strain credibility, but writer-director Angelina Maccarone elicits excellent performances from her leading actresses. Tabatabai draws a convincing portrait of a woman desperately suppressing her natural desires out of concern for her own safety, a double life that eats away her insides, and there’s a genuine erotic charge to her and Sarnau’s scenes together.

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