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Directed by Jafar Panahi
Written by Jafar Panahi and Shadmehr Rastin
Reviewed by Cardinal Cox
Offside DVD available at Amazon.co.uk
Write 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 respects.
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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