It’s an interesting time for Iranian cinema. In September, six Iranian filmmakers were arrested and imprisoned after being charged with espionage for working with the British Broadcasting Corporation. One actress, Marzieh Vafamehr, has already been sentenced to one year in prison and 90 lashes for starring in a movie with her head shaved and uncovered. Another filmmaker, Jafar Panai, is currently under house arrest as he appeals a six-year prison sentence and 20-year ban from making movies or speaking with the media. The distributor of One. Two. One., showing Sunday at Starz Film Festival, was also arrested. In a public statement, director Mania Akbari called for the immediate release and support of Katayoun Shahabi, as well as all other imprisoned artists in Iran.
I saw One. Two. One on Friday, and it’s difficult to imagine anyone being imprisoned over it. In the movie, a young woman is facially scarred after a car accident. Akbari uses the backdrop of technology and electronic communication to explore the culture’s obsession with physical beauty. The storyline is subtle, which plays to Akbari’s assertion that indeed, cell phones and emails are often unnoticed, but essential elements in modern dating and romance.
One. Two. One. shows Sunday at 12 p.m. at Starz Film Center.
—Image courtesy of Starz Film Festival, from the movie One. Two. One.