Tehran Taboo (2018)

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In this gorgeously animated drama, the lives of several strong-willed women and a young musician intersect. Their stories reveal the hypocrisies of modern Iranian society, where sex, drugs, and corruption coexist with strict religious law. In the bustling metropolis of Tehran, avoiding prohibitions has become an everyday sport and breaking taboos can be a means of personal emancipation. Nevertheless, women invariably end up on the bottom rung of the social order. A young woman needs an operation to "restore" her virginity. A judge in the Islamic Revolutionary Court exhorts favors from a prostitute in exchange for a favorable ruling. The wife of an imprisoned drug addict is denied the divorce she needs in order to live independently. Making use of rotoscope animation, expat Iranian filmmaker Ali Soozandeh creates a portrait of contemporary Tehran that would be impossible by any other means.

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Critic Reviews for Tehran Taboo

All Critics (30) | Top Critics (8)

Happily, Soozandah is more humanist than polemicist, so that what follows is less about the system than the people navigating it.

Apr 6, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

These tales are brimming with urgency and conflict and serve as powerful reminders of the liberties and autonomy those of us living in the free world too often take for granted.

Mar 12, 2018 | Full Review…

It's so heavily loaded with grievances that it begins to feel one-dimensional, though it's impossible to argue with its compassion for its characters, whose sufferings are imposed by an intensely repressive society.

Feb 28, 2018 | Full Review…

Like no Iranian movie I've seen, Tehran Taboo reveals the routine hypocrisy of people who observe and even enforce a strict religious code but secretly indulge in the pleasures of the flesh.

Feb 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Using skillful, involving storytelling and beautifully executed rotoscoped photography, director Ali Soozandeh creates a world of intersecting urban miseries and challenges.

Feb 14, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

"Tehran Taboo" aims to expose systemic hypocrisy; in that respect, it is brisk and bracing.

Feb 13, 2018 | Full Review…

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