Abadan (2003)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - Iran  |   MPAA Rating - NR
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Synopsis by Josh Ralske

Marjan, a middle-aged, middle-class Tehran resident, is distraught when her cantankerous elderly father, Amir, goes missing. She goes to see her estranged husband, Aman, who reluctantly agrees to look for Amir, while Marjan watches over Aman's house, which is being renovated. Aman enlists the aid of his old friend, Atta, and the two drive off in search of Amir, who presumably took off to find an old friend whom he seems to have forgotten died years earlier. Atta playfully chastises Aman about his romantic entanglements. While they search for Amir, Aman's younger girlfriend pays an unexpected visit to his house and is surprised to find Marjan there. Meanwhile, Amir runs into another elderly man, Najmi, who agrees to help him find the apartment complex where his old friend lived so that he can deliver an important package. Amir tells Najmi that after the package is delivered, he's running away to Abadan, the beautiful oil-rich city on the southern shore of Iran. Najmi points out that the city was destroyed during the war with Iran, but Amir is concerned only with escape. Abadan is the debut feature from Iranian writer/director Mani Haghighi. It stars Jamshid Mashayekhi, Dariush Asadzadeh, Fatimeh Motamed Arya, Hedeyeh Tehrani, and Ehsan Amani. Abadan was shot by Mahmoud Kalari (The Wind Will Carry Us) on digital video with a very low budget. Because of its content (including profanity and spoken references to extramarital relations) and because it was not pre-approved by Iran's Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, Abadan was rejected by Tehran's 2003 Fajr Film Festival and had its world premiere in Chicago at the 2003 Festival of Films from Iran. It was also shown at the 2004 Tribeca Film Festival.