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Malaria

Iran 2016. Dir: Parviz Shahbazi. 90 min. DCP

Modernity and tradition clash in writer-director Parviz Shahbazi’s exuberant Malaria, a love letter to Tehran that makes smart use of cell-phone footage to frame its tale of rebellious young lovers. Informed that Hanna (Saghar Ghanaat) has been kidnapped for ransom, her panicked father and brothers race to Tehran to find her — unaware that, in reality, Hanna has run off with boyfriend Mori (Saed Soheili) and taken up with a band of bohemian street musicians. Azarakhsh Farahani co-stars as Beatles-loving slacker Azi. The film debuted at Venice and won the Grand Prize at the Warsaw fest. “Engrossing ... A high-velocity lovers-on-the-lam thriller ... The story has complicated sympathies, a killer ending, and a handful of peripheral characters who could easily anchor their own films” (Nick Davis, Film Comment).

 

REVIEWS

“Ingeniously piecing the tale together through images found on a lost cell phone, Shahbazi paints an at once joyful and sombre picture of contemporary Tehran and the compromised reality of Iranian youth.”

Screen Daily | full review