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With: Ali Nassirian, Hossein Farzi-Zadeh, Neda Pakdaman
Written by: Mohammad Rasoulof
Directed by: Mohammad Rasoulof
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Language: Persian with English subtitles
Running Time: 90
Date: 05/20/2005
IMDB

Iron Island (2006)

3 1/2 Stars (out of 4)

Shipshape

By Jeffrey M. Anderson

The Roxie opens a winner this week with Iron Island, a film from Iran that graced this spring's SF International Film Festival. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, it takes place on an abandoned oil tanker sitting in the Persian Gulf. A community of Sunni-Arab outcasts, led by Captain Nemat (Ali Nassirian), occupies its rusting nooks and crannies. Many small dramas unfold within the ship's bowels, from a small boy who collects trapped fish to an illicit romance between the Captain's young charge (Hossein Farzi-Zadeh) and an already-engaged young woman (Neda Pakdaman). This small community comes to an end when the shipboard teacher discovers that the craft is slowly sinking. Rasoulof guides his jumble of storylines like a master storyteller, balancing small moments of beauty, mystery, terror and humor -- as well as the larger parable. Like Claire Denis' recent The Intruder, sensation sometimes outweighs plot, so just breathe and let it take you for a ride.

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