The Iran Job (2013)
When American basketball player Kevin Sheppard accepts a job to play in one of the world's most feared countries - Iran - he expects the worst. But what he finds is a country brimming with generosity, acceptance, and sensuality. With a charismatic personality that charms everyone he meets, Kevin forms an unlikely friendship with three outspoken Iranian women who share with him their strong opinions on everything, from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin's season in Iran eventually culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran's reformist Green Movement - a powerful prelude to the sweeping changes currently unfolding across the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring. (c) Film Movement … More
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Critic Reviews for The Iran Job
A film that despite its modest means tells a stirring tale about sports and politics. Starring Kevin Sheppard, a completely winning personality and basketball player.
An honest and open portrait of work, friendships and relationships in a troubled and lively nation blessed with a vibrant culture and cursed with an oppressive religious regime.
A lively, engaging documentary directed by the German filmmaker Till Schauder ...
The film takes a distinctly American approach to Iranian matters of gender relations and religious extremism, shedding little light on subjects that are far more complicated than Schauder makes them out to be.
I confess to being a sucker for sports movies, the ones with the "Big Game" at the end. "The Iran Job" has all the requisite elements of that cinematic subgenre, but strives for something deeper.
This lively documentary breaks no new ground cinematically, yet its mix of discovery and befuddlement should bring more than sports fans to a basketball story.
As an entry into the Iranian world, Schauder and Nodjoumi made a wise choice with sports, but they made an even better choice with Sheppard.
The Iran Job locates an absorbing, cross-cultural universality with surprising ease.
"The Iran Job" has interesting characters, an insight into Iran's culture and the story of one lonely American who, for a year, was his country's cultural ambassador to Iran.
...an amusing cultural fish out of water look at how a big, likable, outgoing Black American basketball player fits into life in Shiraz in southwestern Iran. Then it becomes something more around the halfway mark...
Though there's something refreshing, and disturbingly familiar, about Kevin Sheppard's spontaneity, he's certainly not the most interesting thing about the film.
This observant documentary avoids pedagogy; it's not always artful, but it has a relaxed, light touch that never topples into pretension.
The sports drama gives The Iran Job a strong hook, while the cultural context enriches the movie's real story, which is less about Sheppard's life in Iran than about the people he meets.
This is a complicated, accessible and heartfelt human drama, one that Obama, Romney and Americans of all political stripes should see ...
The doc's technique of cutting between warm exchanges and the bellicose rhetoric of then-presidents Ahmadinejad and Bush wears thin with overuse, but the big-hearted Sheppard makes for an amiable tour guide.
"The Iran Job" is one of those documentaries that is sad and hopeful in equal measure and exceptional in its storytelling.
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