Awards & Rankings
Putting aside the worthiness of its politics, this is also a crackling, tense thriller, graced with beautifully measured performances, that explores with wisdom and sorrow the best and worst in human nature.
The initially cryptic plotting and low-key realism are familiar from Iranian dramas; what’s striking is how Rasoulof shifts into such a lucid, gut-punching tale of persecution. The film’s flaws are forgivable; its very existence should be applauded.
The government, even under the new, more moderate leadership of President Hassan Rouhani, has reason for concern. Unlike Rasoulof and Panahi’s previous, more metaphorical films, this one confronts its subject head-on with unflinching candor.