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All Critics (13)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (4)
| Rotten (9)
Another vacuous melodrama/thriller that doesn't lay a glove on the era's historical complexities.
Long on cardboard characterizations and short on genuine tension.
It's a movie whose good heart is outweighed by its heavy hand.
Heavy with earnest good intentions but too underpowered and oddly packaged to deliver the emotional gut punch its subject demands, Septembers of Shiraz is a disappointing misfire.
This autobiographically inspired tale of a wealthy Jewish family in Tehran suffering under Iran's shift to fundamentalist Islam, which played in print as hard-hitting but nuanced, now feels like a simplistic, somewhat pandering melodrama.
The lack of emotion and depth makes for a movie that is hard to sit through, and all because it decides to tell and not show.
There might be some way to depict the Iranian Revolution on film, but Septembers of Shiraz is not it.
Though the film has failed to make any impression, it is an effectively mounted portrait of how regime change can help mask the agendas of the lawless. That two highly-regarded indigenous filmmakers would dare take on such a risky project deserves kudos.
Made with passion and compassion, Septembers of Shiraz is a marvelously crafted film that leaves a lasting impression
A wildly inauthentic American melodrama about the 1979 Iranian revolution.
...fast moving and passably exciting...
...captures what it must be like to have your life suddenly turned around into total chaos, the hopelessness, the helplessness, and the despair that descends when thrown into a dungeon where people all around you are being executed on a daily basis.
I don't like to hate, and it isn't often that I do. But I do believe I feel hatred towards the Ayatollah Khomeini and his regime, and all he did in the name of religion. A rather timid yet bright and successful business man, Isaac, lives in a mansion with his pampered wife, Farnez, along with his 18-year-old son, 12-year old daughter, and a few servants who Isaac had rescued from absolute poverty. The time is 1979, just prior to the Iranian revolution when all religions were allowed to be expressed. The movie opens with the father proudly sending his son off to college in America. Soon after, Isaac is arrested by Revolutionary Guards. He is blindfolded and led, by motorcycle to some abandoned warehouse, where he is kept in a filthy concrete cell, questioned daily, beaten at times, and once even placed before a firing squad who shot bullets all around him where Issac was so terrified, he defecated in his pants. His wife asks about him but is told nothing. The family's not-so-loyal servants loot Isaac's business and their home, claiming the inequities that exist between the rich and poor give them every right to do so, in God's eyes. What is touching is Isaac's demeanor while interrogated and tortured, how he stays calm, seems sincere, is forced to call his captors "Brother", and does what it takes to survive. Another fine point in the film was Farnez's longtime servant, Habibeh, and the conflict going on inside her. While almost (but not quite) friends with Fanez, Habibeh reveals that she was never invited to their dinner table, and her chances of living the good life were never available, due to the vast gap between the rich and the poor under the Shah's rule. It makes you think. Still, what happened with Isaac's family was not deserved and was an abomination.
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