Disappearance Review: The relationship of a young couple is put to the test by a long winter night of moral dilemmas and impossible choices in Disappearance (Napadid Shodan). The first feature film by experienced short film director Ali Asgari is a drama of precision and moderate proportions that draws the broadest political resonance from a story of individual distress. The festival’s interest and commercial potential should come from its highly publicized exhibition in Venice and Toronto.


The disappearance at first feels like a black cinema when a taxi slips through the dark streets of Tehran. A woman goes to the emergency department of a hospital; We see only the back of his head and the way his breath holds the cold air of the night. Sara (Sadaf Asgari, the niece of the director), a student in architecture, was raped. Your blood pressure is low, bleeding and may require surgery. However, there is something in the situation that does not seem to be true. Sara is exceptionally calm and serene. His brother Hamed (Amir Reza Ranjbaran) quickly arrives at the hospital, almost as if he had been nearby, waiting for a call.

Something else is clearly going on, and Asgari is rapidly reducing uncertainty to explore the implications for a young Iranian single couple who have become sexually active. As we follow the couple through a succession of hospital services, it is clear that the need for urgent medical care is secondary to the quick judgments of staff and the inflexible rules of the society around them. It is no coincidence that all hospitals are alike or that characters are still walking in anonymous corridors, circling in a maze of bureaucracy and regulations.

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