Under the Skin of the City - 2001
Directed by Rakhshan Bani Etemad
An in-depth look at the effect of brain-drain on the modern Iranian family personified by Abbas who like so many of his generation wishes to leave the country and find better employment opportunities abroad.
Color, 1 hour 33 minutes, Farsi
Original Title: Zir-e Poust-e Shahr
Trailer currently not available, Watch Scene (Farsi w/English subtitles)
No Longer Ranked
|Mohammad Reza Forutan|
|Writer||Rakhshan Bani Etemad|
|Director||Rakhshan Bani Etemad|
Rakhshan Bani Etemad
|Director of Photography||Hossein Jafarian|
|Sound Recordist||Asghar Shahvardi|
|Production Designer||Omid Mohit|
|Sound Mixer||Mohammad Reza Delpaak|
The family's matriarch works long hours at a factory.
A family car ride.
The youngest son teaches the mother to read.
Locating the deed to the house.
The ever-bending tree.
Abbas gleefully pays for his travel visa.
This office worker gladly accepts Abbas's flowers.
Desperate for money, Abbas agrees to traffic heroin.
Abbas finds that he has been sabotaged by his idealistic brother.
"Who the hell do you show these films to anyway!"
By A.O. Scott The New York Times
At the beginning of "Under the Skin of the City," Tuba (Golab Adineh), a middle-aged woman who works in a textile mill in Tehran, sits down in front of a documentary film crew to answer some formulaic questions about the pending parliamentary elections. Although she is, as we will soon discover, the tough and articulate matriarch of a striving working-class family, Tuba finds herself flustered and speechless, stumbling over the rehearsed political boilerplate she is expected to deliver. At the movie's end, when the same crew has returned to record her in the act of voting, she has found her voice, and delivers a harangue about the miseries her family has recently suffered -- travails that make up the plot of this new film by Rakhshan Bani-Etemad, which opens in New York today. Continued
By David Lipfert Offoffoff.com
More a dramatic blockbuster than a quaint art film, "Under the Skin of the City" is a dynamic portrait of contemporary working-class life that shows much of what's wrong in Iran -- but also much that's right.
This may be the first Iranian blockbuster to be released in the U.S. It's not an art film, so you won't see any smiling kids in the countryside. There's not much time for philosophy, either. These are real people with real problems, none of which will simply go away by wishing.
Maybe that's why Rakhshan Bani-Etemad's "Under the Skin of the City" kept drawing huge crowds long after its theatrical release in Iran. I remember seeing people streaming in and out of Tehran's most prominent if not nicest downtown cinema about this time last year to see it. Continued
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