1 February 2008, early morning

Offside is about a group of Iranian girls trying to watch the Iran vs Bahrain world cup qualifier. In Iran, girls aren’t allowed to go to soccer matches, so this is not so simple. The movie begin following one girls very lame attempt to sneak in, which leads to her capture. She ends up in a small pen with a few other despondent (and in some cases insolent) girls, guarded by equally morose soldiers. The movie basically critiques Iranian society, the girls auguring the absurdity of this soccer stadium ban with their captors. It’s an interesting film. Like other Iranian films I’ve seen, it is very slow and the plot is very light. I think because of all the censorship Iranian film makers need to deal with they are forced to either make light fluffy films or incredibly obtuse films. The director of Offside was actually not supposed to make this movie: he had to lie and say the assistant director was the one making the film, and the script he submitted to whatever ministry is in charge of these things was not the script they actually shot. I guess if you are a famous Iranian director and don’t insult the Ayatollah you can play some games with the government. One thing of note: the very end of the film may be a subtle suggestion that if the people band together they have more power than the army and government; that’s one way to see it anyway.

The official Offside web site.



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