Invoking the subversive urgency of cinema vérité, filmmaker Hossein Keshavarz interweaves the lives of seven young people in contemporary Iran. Misunderstood by their families and oppressed by conservative Islamic society, they act out their personal desires behind closed doors. A feminist finds herself in an affair with a married man; new lovers search for a place to be physically intimate; a gay man is pressured to leave his partner for an arranged marriage; a female pop singer risks exposure; and a grief-stricken son lashes out at fundamentalists.
Keshavarz’s film debut is certain to trigger conversation about the contradictions brewing within contemporary Iran, where two-thirds of the population is under thirty. This covert society, forced to operate without government sanctions, is bravely brought into the sunlight by Dog Sweat, which displays a side of Iranian life virtually unseen by the outside world. Shot clandestinely in Tehran—a risky endeavor for the cast and crew—this provocative film provides the new generation of Iranians a fervent voice of rebellion. –Los Angeles Film Festival
SFIAAFF 2011 will be screening around 120 films in San Francisco, Berkeley and San Jose from today through March 20. A sampling of some