Filmed in Lebanon by US-Iranian director Keshavarz, Circumstance won the 2011 Sundance Audience Award for its intimate look at the extremes of Iranian society. Recovering drug addict Mehran (Safai) accepts religion and regime complicity, foisting unwelcome choices upon his free-loving-and-living sister (Boosheri) as well as her friend Shireen (Kazemy). The film is ponderous in places but succeeds in evoking the lethargy and numbness suffered by women unable to live out their inclinations and ambitions – as well as the more general malaise of a rigidly repressive society.
Circumstance (Sharayet – Eine Liebe in Teheran) | Directed by Maryam Keshavarz (France, US, Iran 2010) with Reza Sixo Safai, Sarah Kazemy, Nikohl Boosheri. Starts May 24