Nasrin Pakkho, Reza Safai, Sarah Kazemy, Soheil Parsa and Nikohl Boosheri in "Circumstance". Photo by Brian Rigney Hubbard
Sundance Film Festival
Director: Maryam Keshavarz
"Circumstance" is a fictional story based on real-life experiences from the director, producer and writer of the film, Maryam Keshavarz. The story chronicles the rebellious behavior of two 16 year-old girls, Atafeh and Shireen, in present-day Iranian society where woman have no voice. Together, the two sneak into underground dance clubs, strip to their underwear and swim in the ocean, experiment with alcohol, sex and other activities many of us Americans take for granted. Soon the rowdy duo is caught driving at night by the moral police and taken into custody. While detained, the two are subjected to humiliating treatment and interrogations against their will. While Shireen waits for her uncle to pick her up it is revealed that Atafeh’s “reformed” brother is the one responsible for the arrest and uses it as away of controlling her. Along the way the friendship between the two girls escalate into something more … leading to steamy sex scenes that are both artful and sensual. Although the movie is a work of fiction, it provides an insight of just how beautiful Iranian culture can be, yet in contrast, how dark and oppressive it still is—particularly for woman. I walked out of this film with a new appreciation for the woman of Iran. I am empathetic for what trials and tribulations they must endure and thankful for the freedom I have as a woman here in America.