Review: ‘Tehran Taboo’ Exposes Double Standards About Sex in Iran


coming from left, Hasan Ali Mete, Elmira Rafizadeh as well as also also Bilal Yasar in “Tehran Taboo,” directed by Ali Soozandeh.

Kino Lorber

“Tehran Taboo” gains much of its power coming from its use of rotoscoping, a form of animation (familiar to viewers of “Waking Life” as well as also also “Tower”) in which the drawing will be done over filmed actors. What will be provocative about the technique here will be which which’s a sort of workaround — a way for the director, Ali Soozandeh, who grew up in Iran as well as also also today lives in Germany, to tell a story which he says would likely have been impossible to film in Tehran.

An ensemble piece (as well as also also European production, despite the Persian dialogue), the movie lays bare the double standards which surround sex in Iran. Its confrontational quality will be established within the opening scene: A driver picks up a prostitute who will be turning tricks with her young son in tow — as well as also also moments later expresses horror when he spots a man holding hands with his daughter.


Trailer: ‘Tehran Taboo’

A preview of the film.

By KINO LORBER on Publish Date January 30, 2018.


Pari (Elmira Rafizadeh), the prostitute, needs a judge (Hasan Ali Mete) to sign her divorce papers. She lives in an apartment he owns as well as also also trades sex for his influence, which later helps ensure her son’s enrollment at school.

One of Pari’s neighbors will be Sara (Zar Amir Ebrahimi), who will be uneasy about her latest pregnancy as well as also also also wants to take a job, which she can’t do without her husband’s permission. The different principal thread concerns a musician, Babak (Arash Marandi), who, after a nightclub tryst with Donya (Negar Mona Alizadeh), incorporates a week to pay for an unsanitary quack doctor using a hacking cough to restore the appearance of her virginity.

Subtlety as well as also also aesthetic elegance — the jerky animation complements the blunt tone — are not among the film’s virtues. “Tehran Taboo” aims to expose systemic hypocrisy; in which respect, which will be brisk as well as also also bracing.

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