1. Manage My TA

 

Film Review: Offside

Offside

Offside

Offside

View Photos (1)

  • Image © 2009 Celeste Heiter

Iran is the setting and soccer is the venue for Offside, a film that centers around six young women who have defied the law of the land to attend a World Cup soccer playoff between Iran and Bahrain. Women are expressly forbidden to enter men-only sports arenas, where supposedly they would be exposed to swearing and conduct unbecoming of proper young ladies. But that doesn't stop these brazen young women, who have disguised themselves as males in hopes of getting past the guards at the gates. It is rumored that the stadium is full of similar young women, but these six have been discovered and corralled in a makeshift pen just outside the stadium walls to await disciplinary action by the Chief of Police.

Offside, a sporting term that means in a prohibited or illegal position on the field, was filmed at Azadi Stadium in Tehran and the soccer game taking place in the background is the actual 2005 playoff game in which Iran defeated Bahrain. The film stars Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ayda Sadeqi, Golnaz Farmani, Mahnaz Zabihi, and Nazanin Sediq-zadeh as the six young women, whose nameless characters are identified in the credits only as First girl, Smoking girl, Soccer girl, Girl with tchador, Girl disguised as soldier, and Young girl. The guards holding them captive include Safdar Samandar as the Soldier from Azerbaijan, Mohammad Kheir-abadi as the Soldier from Mashad, and Masoud Kheymeh-kabood as the Soldier from Tehran. As the drama unfolds, the characters reveal their individual back stories in turn, and the young women match wits with the guards, challenging them to explain why Irani women are not afforded the same privileges as the women of other nationalities who come to Tehran to support their teams.

Director Jafar Panahi is no stranger to cinematic controversy, and Offside is no exception. Banned in Iran, the film nonetheless went on to win the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival Grand Jury Prize, Best Actress Awards for the female cast at the Gijón International Film Festival, and the Amnesty International Film Award for Best Film.

Excellent performances are delivered by a cast made up entirely of actors for whom Offside is their first and only cinematic role, and most of the interaction and dialogue between the characters takes place in the spare setting of several metal barricades arranged as a holding pen against a concrete wall next to an entryway into the stadium. Yet somehow Jafar Panahi has taken almost nothing except raw acting talent and turned it into one of his most compelling films.

* * * * *

 

Published on 7/19/09

Sponsor links

Comments [0]

Add Comment

You might also be interested in

front building

The dying Anglo-Indian way of life in Old Delhi

boney meyn - boneymeyn [208]

There is a community tucked inside the non discriptive part of Delhi and they are the one who once existed in the powerful roads of Delhi and they were the Anglo-Indians of Delhi

Destinations: New Delhi
Topics: Culture | People
Sweet, Salty and Sour; but not that Spicy. Manok Inasal.

Sweet, Salty and Sour; but not that Spicy.

Ronald de Jong - aliawan [11,539]

The Filipino cuisine is an exotic blend of many different cultural influences from both sides of the Pacific and reflects the multi-ethnic history of this tropical archipelago...

Destinations: Mindanao | Philippines
Topics: Culture | Food | Travel | Photography
Peach Flowers of Tet - Vietnamese Lunar New Year

Tet- New Year, Ancient Customs

Ha Pham - PhamHa [279]

For the Vietnamese people, Tet is the most sacred time of the year. Tet is also time to reflect on the spiritual life. Tet- New Year, Ancient Customs

Destinations: Vietnam
Topics: Adoption | Travel | Adventure | Literature | Women & Travel | 20th Century History | Music | Art | Economy | Photography | People | Religion | Beaches & Resorts | Performing Arts | Fashion | Sports | War & Conflict | Shopping | Ancient History | National Parks | Festivals | Animals | Traditions | Ecotourism | Martial Arts | Culture | Food | Working Abroad | Agriculture | For Kids | Nature | Architecture
More Stories of Interest
ThingsAsian

ThingsAsian is an Asia travel website with maps, stories, photos and travel tips contributed by a worldwide community.

©1994-2008 Global Directions, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Contact webmaster@thingsasian.com

Web Design by Dayspring