Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Iron Island (2005) (جزيره آهني)

Director: Mohammad Rasoulof. Cast: Ali Nassirian, Hossein Farzi-Zadeh, Neda Pakdaman. 90 min. Iran. Drama.

A community living on an abandoned oil tanker off the shore of the Persian Gulf is run by an old benevolent dictator, who loves his people, ignores the teacher's warning that the tanker is slowly sinking, and smuggles oil off the freighter at the slightest sign of an outside threat. So the allegory is obvious, representing a third world regime. Maybe too obvious, as during the second half the metaphors become central to the story rather than the story itself, to the point that you lose interest in the multitude of secondary characters.

(PS: This was directed by Rasoulof, who together with Jafar Panahi, have recently been committed in Iran to six years in prison, and banned from making any movies or traveling abroad or writing screenplays or interviewing with anybody (or probably sitting on the toilet) for 20 years. I guess that makes Panahi and Rasoulof's films important and worthy of watching.)

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