[Ghahreman], directed by Asghar Farhadi, Iran / France 2021, 127'
- The two-time Oscar winner (for A Separation and The Salesman) returns to his native Iran and, drawing on his local context, weaves another universal, poignant parable. This time about a man held hostage by the courts, including the harshest tribunal that is social media. Following the eponymous Hero, Asghar Farhadi moves with the intuition and skill of a cinematic tightrope walker along the thin line between victim and criminal, success and failure, good and bad intentions.
- Rahim is on a short furlough from prison, where he is serving a sentence for debts. He has barely two days to convince his creditor to discharge him of part of the debt. Apparently, fate is on his side, as he stumbles across a bag full of gold coins. When he realises that the clanking package also carries temptations, unwanted fame and sentences served up by an anonymous mob, it will be too late to stop the spiral of dramatic events.
- Awarded the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival, Hero is not only the Iranian director’s return to his homeland, but also to masterful form. Farhadi brilliantly doses emotion, creating a film sensitive to psychological nuance, yet with the momentum of a parable. Like no one else, he knows how to combine the dilemmas typical of cinema of moral anxiety with the tension of a thriller or crime fiction. This intimate, individual story is the perfect opportunity for him to display the entire web of family and social relationships on screen. Farhadi’s ambiguous, non-judgmental and at the same time completely absorbing film plays a sophisticated game with the audience, testing our tendency to make premature judgements.