FILM: Circumstance starring Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, and Reza Sixo Safai

Circumstance is a political film in the most mature way possible. It’s the story of repressed Iranian youth, but refuses to turn them into martyrs. In a contradiction of say, Swing Kids, the characters in Circumstance aren’t saints or wise beyond their years. The main character, Atafeh isn’t a noble crusader rebelling against tyranny; she just wants to have fun, to go to nightclubs, to be young and stupid. Case in point: her dream is to be on American Idol. This decidedly non hagiographic approach nicely contradicts the more inflammatory feelings we’d apply to such a film. Maryam Keshavarz shoots with a restrained sort of handheld. If you took the visual style of The Fighter and brought it down a few notches, this is where you’d end up. The approach nicely compliments the suppressed inner lives of the characters. They have to mask their turbulent emotions just like the cinematography is steadying a typically chaotic style. Overall this is a good movie. It puts substance high above style, has well developed characters and nice things like that. Its not revolutionary in a big conceptual way, it just gets the details right. So probably see it.

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