The Circle (Dayereh) (2001)


Critic Consensus: Bleak, yet powerful, The Circle offers a searing indictment of the oppressive conditions experienced by women in Iran.


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Movie Info

A look at the world of seven women in Iran, searching for themselves while struggling with everyday oppression. Having been released from prison only to find themselves confined by the world outside.


Critic Reviews for The Circle (Dayereh)

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (21)

An impressive piece of work, especially considering it was made in a barren artistic climate overseen by a censorious government.

Sep 13, 2001

Just like Tomb Raider, it is fiction. It just unfortunately comes a lot closer than the American film to the truth of how its female characters live.

Jun 15, 2001

A memorable and devastating indictment of the oppression facing many women in Iran.

Jun 12, 2001 | Rating: 4.5/5 | Full Review…

In its brisk way, it's a devastating piece of work, and very brave too.

Jun 11, 2001 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Profoundly dangerous to the status quo in Iran because it asks us to identify with the plight of women who have done nothing wrong except to be female.

Jun 8, 2001 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

The world it shows is both mysterious and full of menace -- yet as real as the world outside the theater.

Jun 7, 2001

Audience Reviews for The Circle (Dayereh)

Undoubtedly,it's one of the top 10 films of 2000.Justification knows no boundaries and female,psychological suffering is excellently displayed on this film.Real drama,nothing fake to cover the truth.Panahi eluding his road to "sacrilegious perdition" contrary to the customs of Iran,we can say with certainty it's a universal journey.A journey disastrous through the looking glass of a handful of women.

Dimitris Springer
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

Be in the right mood to see this. It is one of umpteen depictions of women coping in fundamentalist Islamic states but it happens to be one of the better ones.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic][color=darkorchid]During the opening credits of "The Circle" a 2000 movie from Iran directed by Jafar Panahi(Crimson Gold), we hear the sounds of childbirth. A nurse tells a relative through an opening that "It's a Girl." And the relative is heartbroken to hear the news, even though it would be normal to be overjoyed to receive the news. Welcome to modern day Iran, where special restrictions govern the movement and lives of women - they cannot travel alone or in the company of non-relative men, for example. "The Circle" examines the lives of four women, in a device borrowed from "La Ronde", some of whom are just out of prison.(Even after being released from prison, there is a huge stigma attached.) What they were in prison for is never revealed, but it is greatly hinted at in the final minutes. This is a great movie full of everyday terrors in a society where women exist as no better than prisoners.[/color][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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