Using his own family experience as a springboard, Dutch-Iranian director Kaweh Modiri (BODKIN RAS) crafts a timely, potent drama about motherhood that plays like a political and psychological thriller. Almost 40 years after her daughter was executed in Iran, Haleh (Jasmin Tabatabai), now a successful scientist living in the Netherlands, still isn't sure who was responsible for the betrayal that led to her daughter's demise. She remembers the woman only by voice, but is sure she'd recognize that voice anywhere. When she meets recent arrival Leyla (Shabnam Tolouei), who has just fled Iran for the Netherlands with her young daughter, Haleh becomes convinced that Leyla is the one who gave her daughter up to the authorities all those years ago. Slowly embarking on a carefully plotted revenge, Haleh inserts herself into the lives of Leyla and her daughter, ostensibly as a concerned fellow refugee, but in reality with a longer game in mind. As Modiri subtly sows doubts about the veracity of Haleh's convictions and the reliability of her memories, he also leads viewers to question where the line between perpetrator and victim truly lies, and whether vengeance can ever heal the wounds of the past. Official Selection, 2021 Rotterdam Film Festival. DIR/SCR Kaweh Modiri, from his novel; PROD Katja Draaijer, Frank Hoeve. Netherlands/Germany/Denmark, 2021, color, 100 min. In Farsi and Dutch with English subtitles. NOT RATED
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