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Sunday, June 19, 2011

254. Tehroun

    Here's one of those films which I have seen because I don't want someone to suddenly quote it back to me at the end of the year.
    To be honest, Tehroun played festivals earlier in the year and had a February release date, according to www.filmdates.co.uk
    Internet movie data base says it was originally released in 2009!
    Finding the truth is no easy thing but I emailed Memento International and they sent me a screener from Paris!
    Only now, with a bit of summer hols time on my hands have I finally caught up with it. But let me say thanks to memento and give it my seal of approval.
    Watching Tehroun actually made me wonder about the different pre-conceived ideas we have about certain countries and their people.
    The Iranians depicted in this movie are not at all concerned about imperialist America and stocking up on nuclear arms.
    They are much more worried about finding enough money to survive.
    Indeed, Tehroun (Tehran, to me and you), poses the deepest of questions. How far would you go in the quest of money and what would you do if your back was really up against the wall?
    Nader T Homayoun is centred on  the back streets of the Iranian capital and follows the struggles of Ibrahim (Ali Ebdali).
    In the first scenes we see him begging with a baby which, it transpires, he has 'rented' from a crime lord.
    Having the baby means he can tell a sob story about being a widower and, therefore, receives more cash from gullible folk on the street.
    Things take a dramatic turn, however, when a visit from his wife (who lives out in the sticks) coincides with the baby being stolen.
    With the wheels coming off his already difficult life Ibrahim is left with tough choices about how to turn things around.
    Tehroun starts very slowly but builds into a drama of high quality.
    Director Nader T Homayoun adds layer after layer on to his characters so that even when the descend into evil deeds we understand why.
    There are some fine performances, particularly by Ebdali and Sara Bahrami who plays Ibrahim's wife.
    And it also opens out a culture which western audiences might have otherwise misunderstood.
    It was well worth a 7.5/10 rating, although I am starting to feel that I'm giving every film an extra mark at the minute just because I'm so chilled and the weather in Spain is so great.

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254. Tehroun

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