Friday, 20 July 2007

Offside

Dir: Jafar Panahi (Talaye Sorkh / Crimson Gold, Dayereh / The Circle, Badkonake Sefid / The White Balloon)
Cast: Sima Mobarak Shahi, Safar Samandar, Shayesteh Irani, M. Kheyrabadi, Ida Sadeghi
Iran, 2007

Seen: September 6, 2006 as part of TIFF

Reason to see: it fit in my schedule

This review mentions the plot of the film.

The setting for this film is girls trying to get into a qualifying game for the World Cup, although women are banned from all sporting events. It's a fascinating subject and the film is very layered. Why do these girls go? What are the varied reactions they receive? Who will help, take advantage, turn a blind eye or turn them in?

For me it inevitable brought up more questions or answers. For one, why are they banned? What would happen to them? There was always did feel like there was an undercurrent for the concern of their well being which I didn't expect.

I have to say while researching this film I found a lot of references that is considered a comedy, funny or a satire (see examples here, here and here - check under Now Playing) I did not get that from it at all. Although, I didn't see it as a dry drama, but I don't think I (or anyone else) in the theatre laughed at any one point. To me it felt like a serious look at a social issue, albeit in a sport situation. I could maybe go as far as saying that sometimes it was light-hearted, but a comedy? I don't think so.

Shannon's Overall View:
I found it thought provoking
I'd watch it again
I'd recommend it

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© Shannon Ridler, 2007

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