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THE DESERTED STATION

Iran, 2002 (MIFF 2003, International Panorama)

Director: Alireza Raisian

On a photographic trip with his mentor master Iranian fillmaker Abbas Kiarostrami, director Alireza Raisian's car broke down and he went looking for help. From that simple premise, an idea for a film was born. Creating an intimate and realistic world from a relatively basic concept is something at which Iranian filmmakers excel, and The Deserted Station stamps its place as a striking example of passionate filmmaking.

A young couple, Mahmoud and Mahtab, are on a pilgrimage when their car breaks down. At a neighbouring village, Mahmoud meets a teacher and the two set off in search of spare parts for the car. Mahtab, who was once a teacher, stays behind and takes over the single village classroom. She quickly develops a close bond with the children and the other villagers—a connection that renders her pilgrimage redundant.

With wonderful performances—Lelia Hatami as Mahtab deservedly won the Best Actress Award at the 2002 Montreal Film Festival—and an incisive screenplay from the writer of The Circle (MIFF 2001), The Deserted Station is a must for lovers of Iranian cinema.

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