Previously at the ICA - Films
30 Sep 2016 – 11 Oct 2016
Opening during the Iran-Iraq war in the ’80s, this debut feature from Iranian writer-director Babak Anvari draws on his childhood experiences. His central characters, Shideh (a magnetic Narges Rashidi) and her young daughter Dorsa (Avin Manshadi), are holed up in their Tehran apartment while conscripted husband Iraj (Bobby Naderi) is away fighting. After an air raid badly damages the building, Dorsa’s once familiar playthings go missing and she begins seeing frightening images. As Anvari’s film skilfully segues into the horror genre, the implication is that malevolent spirits are creeping through cracks in the ceiling. Still hoping to return to her medical career once hostilities finally end, Shideh refuses to play the obedient housewife role despite her husband’s cautions.
This masterful blend of anti-Cultural Revolution polemic, family drama and outright scariness is a great credit to all concerned.
Under the Shadow, Babak Anvari, Iran/Jordan/Qatar/UK 2016, 84 mins, Persian with English subtitles.