Directed by Jafar Panahi • 2006 • Iran
Starring Mohammad Asarian, Shayesteh Irani, Sima Mobarak-Shahi
A by turns funny and caustic vision of gender politics in contemporary Iran comes into focus in an exuberant sports film unlike any other. The Tehran soccer stadium roars with 100,000 cheering men—and only men. According to Islamic custom, women are not allowed inside, and the ambitious girls who manage to sneak in are caught and sent to a holding pen guarded by soldiers. Duty makes the young men and women adversaries, but duty can’t overcome their shared dreams, their mutual attraction, and ultimately their overriding sense of national pride and humanity.