Review: Concrete Playground on 7th IFFA

 

In the Iranian feature Subdued, a recently divorced woman tries to carve out a single life, but finds her quest for independence far from easy. Then there's The Home, in which a daughter struggles with the contents of her recently deceased father's will. Depicting the tumult of everyday Iranian existence — the oppression, the judgement, the unfair treatment of women and the impact of unjust bureaucracy — is something that the country's cinema output has become particularly known for. Indeed, films and tales like these (and, of course, including these) abound at this year's Iranian Film Festival Australia.

In fact, they're just two of the ten flicks on offer in 2017, the fest's seventh year. Nodding to the past, a retrospective session of 1997's Leila shows how little has changed in the middle eastern nation. Celebrating a filmmaking master only recently lost, Abbas Kiarostami's final short Take Me Home finds joy in repetitive actions with unexpected outcomes. Iranian Revolution dramas, musicians travelling abroad and a tale of friends torn apart by an organ donation request help round up the lineup.

You'll find them all at New Farm Cinemas from November 2 to 5, with IFFA demonstrating that good things come in compact packages.

By Sarah Ward 
OCTOBER 30, 2017