TIFF19 REVIEW: Pesar-Madar [Son-Mother] [2019]

Would you do it? Directed by Mahnaz Mohammadi (her feature fiction debut) and written by Mohammad Rasoulof (a renowned Iranian filmmaker), Pesar-Madar [Son-Mother] is about exactly what its title infers. The labels themselves are somewhat subverted, though. Split into two halves with interstitials, “Son” actually centers on Leila (Raha Khodayari) while “Mother” stars Amir (Mahan Nasiri). The reason for the switch is that these sections prove as much about who’s not on-screen as who is. In a conservative culture balanced upon reputation, these characters are ultimately forced to sacrifice their…

Read More

TIFF19 REVIEW: Love Child [2019]

There’s no going back. The year “2012” doesn’t pop-up on-screen at the beginning of Eva Mulvad‘s documentary Love Child because it’s an era-specific story. No well-known international news headline is about to arrive as motivation for why Sahand and Leila fled Iran for the hope of sanctuary far, far away. The real reason for that date is perhaps even more heartbreaking when proven to be a simple case of timeline logistics. This is when the couple’s story starts and we’ll eventually see more demarcations as it continues forward. What they…

Read More

REVIEW: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night [2014]

“Are you a good boy or not?” The comparisons are so spot-on that I knew critics before me had made the same parallels before even looking. Ana Lily Amirpour‘s debut feature A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night is Jim Jarmusch cool with Quentin Tarantino swagger—an Iranian Vampire Western calling to mind Dead Man and Ghost Dog remixed through a Pulp Fiction lens. It’s a wonder no one had done it before with the way in which her titular creature of the night glides across Bad City in her pitch-black…

Read More

REVIEW: The Kite Runner [2007]

“There is a way to be good again” Director Marc Forster once again shows that he will not be pigeonholed into a genre. After doing family, drama, comedy, and thriller, he has decided to do foreign-language with his adaptation of The Kite Runner. Khaled Hosseini’s acclaimed novel has been on my list to read, collecting dust on my bookshelf, but I never really knew what it was about. Sure you see in the trailer that two former childhood friends part ways and the one in America must go back to…

Read More