Film throws light on life in Iran

About Elly SUS-140925-114515001
About Elly SUS-140925-114515001

It is a unique feature of this season’s programme by the Eastbourne Film Society at the Curzon Cinema that it will contain two contrasted works by the same director.

The man in question is the Iranian Asghar Farhadi and the first of the two films, About Elly, screens next Wednesday (October 8) when there will be seats available for the public.

Later in the season The Past, which he made in Paris, will be shown, but About Elly, like his most famous film, A Separation, is set in Iran itself.

It tells a story that shows keen insights into life in contemporary Iran, not least in portraying the constraints placed on women in that society.

The film focuses on one weekend when a group of friends, who include three couples and their children, plan a weekend away by the Caspian Sea.

One of the wives, Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani), whose husband is more ready than most to let his wife take a less subservient role, is responsible for what is in fact a bit of matchmaking.

It is Sepideh who decides that her son’s nursery school teacher, Elly (Taraneh Alidousti), would be a good match for a divorced friend who is also one of the party.

Consequently Elly is invited too, but in Iran even to have an unmarried man and woman sharing a holiday home with others is frowned upon.

Consequently when an unforeseen incident disrupts the weekend, the proprieties of Iranian society demand concealment and lies to prevent these innocuous facts coming to light.

As the attempts to achieve this grow ever increasingly complex, About Elly reveals more and more about attitudes in this society.

Indeed this involving drama acted with distinction is also a work that tells us a great deal about the actuality of life in Iran today.