Door 9: About Elly
Cinema has the ability to delicately reflect a culture and its periods, stylistically, politically but also socially. Famous examples are the Nouvelle Vague in France or the Italian Neorealism. But also outside Europe and the U.S.A. are thriving cinemas, like the Iranian New Wave, which started in the later 1960s and is still active.
The featured film, even though quite new, stems from this school and is called About Elly, Dar bāre-ye Elly, and was released in 2009. It is the 4th film by Iranian director Asghar Farhadi, most known for his two Oscar winning films A Seperation (2012) and Salesman (2016).
The film resembles an intimate play, as there are not many characters and the change of locations is kept to a minimum. The characters are played by an Iranian ensemble cast, with whom the director likes to work regularly. Among them are actors like Golshifteh Farahani, also successful in France, Taraneh Alidoosti, Shahab Hosseini or Payman Maadi.
Film starts slowly, on the verge of being boring, showing friends going away for the weekend. But then suddenly turns into an intense, suspense loaded character sketch. The movie shows how the interplay between lying to save someone or telling the truth, can turn bad.