Inversion (Varoonegi)

Watched: 12 September

A well-acted Iranian drama in which the pollution of Tehran, and the subsequent respiratory illness suffered by the mother of a family, eventually leads to fractious exchanges between three siblings. The youngest of these, Niloofar (Sahar Dolatshahi), is a single, independent woman, and her older brother and sister insist that she should be the one to accompany their mother and move to a rural area, thereby giving up her own life in the city. The film ruminates on this family hierarchy and other challenges faced by young women in Iran, and in doing so it’s a rather unassuming realist drama, and so the fact that it seems to have slipped under the radar shouldn’t be a surprise. There’s a preponderance of medium close-up shots, particularly when four or more family members are grouped together, and I can’t help but think that a little more variety in terms of the cinematography would have been welcome, but it’s worth a watch. (***)

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