Directed by Ali Asgari. Iran. Drama. 1h26 (Release November 16, 2022). With Sadaf Asgari, Ghazal Shojaei and Babak Karimi.
Before “Just one night” ofAli Asgariwe want to take up a previous review written during the release of another Iranian film.
Like this one or like the next one, we are immediately convinced that we are immediately immersed in the reality of a country in turmoil.
While we only have a caricatural vision of the country of the mullahs, its cinema, whether it is well seen there or whether it is censored there, gives precise indications of what is happening there.
Through the strength and cleverness of stories that allow a cross section of the whole of society, we discover the solidarities between citizens of different social classes and very quickly the limits of their solidarities.
Often, as in “Just one night”, the action takes place in Tehran or in a big city, and the hero or heroine is a provincial projected there to study or work. When an element of his past resurfaces, he discovers the moral precariousness of his new situation…
Thus Fereshteh (Sadaf Asgari) learns late that his parents will come to Tehran and, quite naturally, will come to sleep in his studio. The problem is that she had a baby, which they don’t know. Dreading their reactions, she only has a few hours left to entrust the baby to someone and clean up her place…
Helped by her friend Atefeh, she will then exhaust herself to find the miracle solution. Constantly carrying her baby against her, the young woman is almost a video game character, coming and going in a city full of pitfalls.
One could imagine the same scenario in Paris with an undocumented mother having to fear at every moment that the official or the policeman might appear and arrest her, take her child away from her.
“Just one night” by Ali Asgari is an implacable suspense, but the director mixes a lot of sociological elements into it. Each character encountered has his reasons for sending the young mother for a walk because for all of them there are concrete threats. Everything is done so that everyone can fear for their social status if they come to the aid of their neighbour.
Iranian society, controlled by a theocratic power, is no longer encouraged to show solidarity. As it is also, whether we like it or not, a capitalist country where money is king, everything can theoretically be resolved with the help of money. You still have to have some and know who to trust…
In her journey full of comings and goings and back and forths, Fereshteh verifies until exhaustion what a city of great loneliness is for a single mother, a fortiori when morals are not free but ‘they can also be corrupt or hypocritical, as the scene with the hospital’s head doctor shows. The viewer obviously espouses her cause and feels, little by little, overcome by the same despair as her.
“Juste une nuit” is Ali Asgari’s second feature film, in which he uses elements from one of his short films, “The Baby”, which won the Palme d’or du court at Cannes in 2014. Sadaf Asgari, deja vu in “Yalda”, is imperial in her role as a mother courage in the impasse. What she has to face is ultimately hopeless and never has a film been so prescient.
“Just one night” by Ali Asgari, in addition to its cinematographic qualities, is to be seen because it announces the revolt of Iranian women. Whatever happens to their fight, we know that Iranian cinema, hampered or unbridled, will once again bear witness to it.
We wish to give thanks to the author of this write-up for this remarkable content
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