Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold was written by Abbas Kiarostami, who also wrote Panahi's The White Balloon. The film opens in the midst of a jewelry store robbery. In a single shot, a hulk of a man, trapped by the store's security system, shoots the store manager. Moments later, with an excited crowd gathering on the street outside, he turns the gun on himself. The film then flashes back several weeks. Hussein (Hossain Emadeddin) (the robber) is working as a pizza delivery man with his best friend, Ali (Kamyar Sheisi). He's engaged to Ali's sister (Azita Rayeji). Ali finds a woman's purse containing a gold ring, which has been cut, and a receipt for an incredibly expensive Italian necklace. Intrigued by the amount of money changing hands, Hussein and Ali track down the store, but the snooty jeweler (Shahram Vaziri) turns them away. They decide to return to the store wearing suits with Ali's sister, to see if there's anything they can afford. Meanwhile, Hussein does his pizza deliveries. At one point, he tries to make a delivery to a building where the military are arresting young people for drinking alcohol and socializing with the opposite sex. Later, he delivers to a wealthy young man (Pourang Nakhael) who has just moved back to Tehran after living in America for years. The man invites Hussein into his lavish home so he can complain about the trouble he's having adjusting to life in Iran. Hussein's unpleasant experiences eventually push him to the breaking point. Lead actor Emadeddin is a diagnosed schizophrenic and real-life pizza delivery man. Crimson Gold was banned in Iran. It won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and was selected for the 2003 New York Film Festival.
by Josh Ralske synopsis