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8 Ratings


Ma dar Behesht

Directed by Sina Ataeian Dena
Iran, Germany, 2015


Hanieh, a 24-year-old Tehran woman, travels everyday a long way to teach at a primary school in a poor suburb. Sick of her life, she is trying to get transferred to a school in the city. When two female students disappear and are feared to have been kidnapped, her problems suddenly seem petty.

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Critics reviews

First-time feature director Sina Ataeian Dena makes acute visual choices throughout, opening with a black screen for several minutes while a conversation plays out in voiceover. The decision only amplifies the film’s illegality, its status as a persona non grata within the eyes of Iranian bureaucracy by initially refusing to reveal itself at all.
December 09, 2015
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In this neorealist vein, there is even a lengthy child’s voyage through the broken topography nearer the school. The film balances that with its M references, with vivacious little girls tempted by a kindly ball offered by a would-be assailant, although the specific crimes remain intriguingly understated and in the background: as in M the film works much more by suggestion than spectacle, leaving the text open but much more memorable.
September 15, 2015
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The girls’ exuberance is beautiful and overwhelming, while the knowledge of its inevitable ephemerality is simultaneously devastating – one would be hard pressed to find such a humanist dialectic in The Seventh Continent or Benny’s Video.
August 19, 2015
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