LOS ANGELES, United States (Kurdistan24) – Having won numerous awards for directing, acting, and screenplay, a young Iranian director’s debut movie has been a breakthrough.
Life Without Parole, the first feature-length film from 26-year-old Saeed Roostaie, offers complex, nuanced, and multi-dimensional characters and deals with social problems such as poverty and addiction.
Drug addiction has been on the rise in a country of disappointed youth without much prospect and little to no freedom.
Iran has been punishing drug-related offenders by death and imprisonment, yet the problem has not been alleviated.
The fast-paced film set in south Tehran deals with the problems of drug addiction and the imminent threats of capital punishment or life imprisonment for the victims.
The dysfunctional family struggle with emotional, social, and legal issues and siblings’ cold dynamics before one of the sisters is married off to a stranger in Afghanistan in return for an amount of money the family uses to open a store.
Though the film raises no loud objection to gender inequality, it offers a realistic portrayal of a common way of life and perception of gender roles, zooming in on the injustice and magnifying the ugliness.
The women in the movie, stuck in patriarchy among other forms of oppression, are defined by their marital status and their family’s reputation, and quietly play or refuse their predetermined roles of good women: serving, sacrificing, and obeying.
Navid Mohammadzadeh, who won a prize for his acting, offers one of the most moving scenes and dialogues of the film shortly before he is taken to rehabilitation and his sister is getting ready to move out.
Though a drug addict and trafficker, Mohsen (Mohammadzadeh) cares deeply for his mother and siblings and is the one who loudly and clearly protests against his sister’s arranged marriage.
The film won nine prizes, including those for best director and best leading actress (Parinaz Izadyar).
Editing by Karzan Sulaivany