Offside - 2006

Directed by Jafar Panahi

Filmed almost entirely during an actual 2005 Iran-Bahrain match that resulted in Iran's qualification for the 2006 World Cup, several young Iranian girls, barred from attending soccer matches under the laws of the Islamic Republic, attempt to sneak into Tehran's Azadi Stadium by dressing up as boys. When their attempts to blend in with the crowd are easily discovered they are forced to spend the remainder of the game in a holding pen. The girls question the laws that prevent them from sharing a national victory and win sympathy from the soldiers, bound by duty, to watch them.

Color, 1 hour 32 minutes, Farsi

Trailer currently not available, Watch Scene (Farsi w/English subtitles)

Star Rating


Firouzan Rank # 20

Cast


Sima Mobarak Shahi First Girl
Safar Samandar Azeri Soldier
Shayesteh Irani Smoking Girl
Mohammad Kheirabadi Mashadi Soldier
Ida Sadeghi Girl Soccer Player
Golnaz Farmani Girl with Chador
Mahnaz Zabihi Soldier Girl
Nazanin Sedighzadeh Young Girl
Massoud Kheymeh Kaboud Tehrani Soldier
Mohsen Tanabandeh Ticket Seller
Reza Farhani Old Man
Mohammad Reza Gharadaghi Boy with Firecrackers
Karim Khodabandehloo Soldier
Hadi Saedi Soldier
Mohammad Mokhtar Azad Hajji
Ali Roshanpour Bus Passenger
Ali Baradari Bus Passenger
Reza Kheyri Bus Passenger
Massoud Ghiasvand Blind Man

Crew


Writer Jafar Panahi
Shadmehr Rastin
Director Jafar Panahi
Producer Jafar Panahi
Director of Photography Mahmoud Kalari
Sound Recordist Nezam Aldin Kiaee
Production Designer Iraj Raminfar
Editor Jafar Panahi
Sound Mixer Mohammad Reza Delpaak
Music Naser Farhadi
Hamid Reza Adaab

Pictures


Sima Mobarak Shahi's character tries not to stand out on the bus ride to the stadium.

Sima Mobarak Shahi's character tries not to stand out on the bus ride to the stadium.

According to Panahi, the man with the cell phone was an actual security official, unaware of the filming, who attempted to stop the actress Sima from entering the stadium.

According to Panahi, the man with the cell phone was an actual security official, unaware of the filming, who attempted to stop the actress Sima from entering the stadium.

A more elaborate plan aided by co-conspirators.

A more elaborate plan aided by co-conspirators.

Sima's character is led to the holding pen after being caught.

Sima's character is led to the holding pen after being caught.

The girls have to rely on the cheers of the fans and the play-by-play of the guards to follow the game.

The girls have to rely on the cheers of the fans and the play-by-play of the guards to follow the game.

After one of the girls escapes, the soldier from Mashhad (Mohammad Kheirabadi) makes a vain attempt to find her in the crowd, this shot is one of the few actual glimpses of the game in the movie.

After one of the girls escapes, the soldier from Mashhad (Mohammad Kheirabadi) makes a vain attempt to find her in the crowd, this shot is one of the few actual glimpses of the game in the movie.

One of the more clever disguises the soldiers have yet to see, though impersonating a soldier carries stiffer penalties.

One of the more clever disguises the soldiers have yet to see, though impersonating a soldier carries stiffer penalties.

The usual suspects.

The usual suspects.

En route to the vice squad, the girls persuade the soldiers to let them hear the end of the game on the radio.

En route to the vice squad, the girls persuade the soldiers to let them hear the end of the game on the radio.

Panahi shot the closing sequence during the spontaneous street celebrations that took place after Iran's victory and qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

Panahi shot the closing sequence during the spontaneous street celebrations that took place after Iran's victory and qualification for the 2006 World Cup.

DVD


Offside DVD Case

Purchase DVD at Amazon.com

External Reviews


By Jumana Faouky TIME Magazine Europe

With "Offside," Jafar Panahi continues his cinematic crusade against Iran's social ills and asks why football is only for the boys.

Six girls wearing baseball caps and baggy shirts mope around in a makeshift prison just outside the walls of Tehran's Azadi Stadium. From behind the flimsy cage, the girls can hear cheers erupt as Iran and Bahrain battle it out for a place in the World Cup. Under arrest for trying to sneak into the football match disguised as boys, the girls await their punishment -- but being so tantalizingly close to the game is torture enough. One of the captives debates with a reluctant guard about the logic of Iran's law banning women from stadiums. "There are lots of men in there," he argues. "They'll be cursing and swearing." Without missing a beat, she replies: "We promise not to listen." Continued

By Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid

Like his other films, Jafar Panahi's "Offside" has been banned from Iranian cinemas. His colleagues, for the most part, tend to work within their government's strict censorship guidelines, but Panahi refuses to play ball. He has become the designated teller of stories about the underprivileged, and about women in general. His masterpiece, "The Circle" (2001), was a brilliant, yet hopeless triptych about women prisoners (literally and figuratively) and their various forms of sexual oppression, ranging from pregnancy to prostitution. "Offside" is considerably lighter and more enjoyable; it's merely concerned with the fact that Iranian women can't attend soccer matches. Continued



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