With films like A Separation, The Salesman, A Hero, and The Past, Asghar Farhadi has established himself as one of the leading writer-directors in world cinema. Here, for the first time, we present his first two feature films, Dancing in the Dust (2003) and Beautiful City (2004), both recently restored. Farhadi’s debut is a love story of sorts: young and impulsive, Nazar woos and weds Reyhane, but his family and friends are scandalized; her mother is said to be a sex worker. Regretfully, Nazar divorces. Determined to pay his ex wife the marriage and separation monies he owes, he begs a taciturn old snake hunter to teach him his lucrative — but risky — trade.
The film’s second half – largely set in the desert – is a compelling stand-off between the aggressive, passionate youth and the unimpressed veteran, who’s seen it all before and knows full well that Nazar is in over his head. (For one thing, the kid is mortally afraid of snakes.) Still, there’s something about his convictions – confused as they may be – which touches the benumbed older man.
This debut feature by Asghar Farhadi begins as domestic drama, but once it moves into the desert (vividly captured by cinematographer Hassan Karimi) it becomes a powerful face-off between youth and experience, faith and resignation.
Joshua Katzman, Chicago Reader
Two outcasts, a silent old man and a loudmouthed Azerbaijan youth, set out to catch poisonous snakes in the desert in this eye-catching first film by Asghar Farhadi. His theme, surprisingly, is love and the sacrifices it demands, beautifully illustrated in the story’s final, satisfying twist.
Deborah Young, Variety
Faramarz Gharibian, Yousef Khodaparast, Baran Kosari, Jalal Sarhad Seraj
In Persian with English subtitles
Winner: Special Jury Award, Fajr Film Festival; Best Actor, Moscow Film Festival; Best Director, Screenplay, Asia-Pacific Film Festival
Monday June 05
Tuesday June 06
Wednesday June 07
Sunday June 11
Indigenous & Community Access
Asghar Farhadi, Mohammad Reza Fazeli, Alireza Bazrafshan
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The second film from writer-director Asghar Farhadi (A Separation; The Salesman; A Hero) finds a potent dramatic entry point in a grieving father’s resistance to granting clemency to the teenager who killed his daughter — at her urging.