Films: Good Bye

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Good Bye  {Bé omid é didar}

Good Bye
Bé omid é didar

Iran, 2011, 104 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Iran, Iran, Political, Social Issues
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Persian English Subtitles

DIRECTOR: Mohammad Rasoulof
Producer: Mohammad Rasoulof
Editor: Mohamad Muini
Screenwriter: Mohammad Rasoulof
Principal Cast: Leyla Zareh, Fereshteh Sadreorafai, Shahab Hoseini, Roya Teymorian

Iranian film director Mohammad Rasoulof (White Meadows, SDFF 33) remains under house arrest in Tehran, convicted of “propagandizing” against the regime in connection with his country's failed Green Revolution. Fellow director Jafar Panahi is not so lucky: he's serving six years in prison on the same charges.

It's unlikely that the ruling mullahs of the Iranian theocracy will ever see this dramatic cry for freedom, but they know what they hate. Smuggled out of Iran this May so that it could be shown at Cannes, Rasoulof's new film is a compelling portrait of a disbarred Tehran lawyer named Noora (Leila Zareh), who has lost her livelihood because she worked for a local human-rights group. We see her vainly seeking an exit visa from a country where women are treated “like ghosts,” where a woman cannot even check into a hotel without the permission of her husband, where sneaking a cigarette in the dark is a major offense against the misogynist status quo. Before Noori boards a train, she must carefully remove the polish from her nails. The jetliners taking off from Tehran's airport are a constant reminder of her imprisonment.

Whether Rasoulof will ever be able to make another film is very much an open question, but for now he and others like him have the support of the world film community. When Good Bye and Panahi's autobiographical new film reached Cannes in the spring, festival officials issued a statement: “Sending their films here is an act of courage along with an incredible artistic message.”

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