Shah-re ziba (The Beautiful City) (2004)
Critic Reviews for Shah-re ziba (The Beautiful City)
Well acted and smartly written, the film is an eye-opening sociological portrait that also manages to be a compelling human drama.
Here's another deeply resonant little movie from Iran, featuring more polished (yet still naturalistic) acting than usually seen in U.S. productions.
It's a penetrating exploration of retribution versus forgiveness, blood money, sacrifice and the intricacies of Iran's Islamic judicial system.
Fascinating glimpse into wholly different body of laws, engrossingly evolving script and standout perfs, including Taraneh Alidoosti's ... make City more accessible to arthouse auds than more stylistically challenging Farsi fare.
Audience Reviews for Shah-re ziba (The Beautiful City)
The title could have been better!! But the movie is outstanding. Excellent plot (reading it beforehand may be a spoiler), well paced and well told.
[font=Century Gothic]In "Beautiful City", Akbar(Hossein Farzi-Zadeh) has just turned 18 which should be cause for celebration but is not since he is serving time for killing his girlfriend in a botched murder-suicide and is now eligible for the death penalty. His pal in the juvenile detention center, A'La(Babak Ansari), seeks early release to plead his case and finds the easiest way is to start behaving himself. Upon release, he plans to go with Akbar's sister, Firoozeh(Taraneh Alidoosti), to ask the victim's father, Abolghassem(Faramarz Gharibian), for his consent in commuting the sentence. She has already made her case, only to be punched in the face for her trouble. The father is getting tired of the constant petitions, so he asks the court if there is any way to speed up the proceedings. There is if he is willing to pay blood money to make up the cost between the woman who was killed and the man who will be executed.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]"Beautiful City" is a very effectively told tale, not only about how women are treated in Iran but universal themes including forgiveness, vengeance and the death penalty. My only complaint about the movie is that it does tend to get confusing in the second half when different offers are made. Plus, it was a little hard at times trying to understand the labyrinthine Iranian judicial system. [/font]
At first, the film's set-up was primitive, and there seems to be no importance on the crime itself. The lead characters all claim that their friend, a murderer, "doesn't deserve to die", but this was never proved, why. But as the film proceeds, it becomes clear that this is not the point: instead we see how the final verdict was put in the hands of the dead girl's father,.The Killer fate is passed now onto those, the father and also those who must plead with him for clemency. The father who still could not deal with his grief. The film's represented also the role of women in an Islamic society, which was also sensitive and interesting to see. The abrupt ending concludes a quiet tragedy that delivers more than is promised at the start. Thank you my friend for this good movie recommendation, most movies of Iran showed till now, not to be disappointed.
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