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by Jafar Panahi
by Jafar Panahi and Shadmehr Rastin
by Cardinal Cox
Offside DVD available at Amazon.co.uk
Dope on Pnuk part 22
Iranian comedies are probably not
high on folks must-see list. The plot of this one is about half a
dozen women who want to go to see the Iranian football team's
qualifying match for the 2006 World Cup. The problem being that
women aren't allowed to go to football matches. So they have to
dress up as men to do this.
Iran is in many was regarded as an oppressive state, but this is
a film that looks at one aspect of the oppression, and in a way
that questions it deeply. So perhaps not as oppressive in some
The film reminded me of the much bleaker 'Osama', set in the post-Taliban
Afghanistan where (for different reasons) a young girl has to
dress as a boy.
'Offside' was made with a mature cast, but this is a strength of
it. You get a real feel of the truthfulness of the situation of
the girls and the militia forced to try and stop them seeing the
match that they themselves want to view. Interesting to see
Iranian football fans wearing the shirts of western teams and the
Metallica graffiti in the toilets. While their politicians are
being demonised to us, it is good to see that the average Iranian
is just like anyone you'd sit next to at a match.
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