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The Warden

In an ambitious follow up to his award-winning Melbourne, Nima Javidi’s thrilling second feature is as astutely crafted as it is suave and seductive.

Dir Nima Javidi
Prod Majid Motalebi
With Navid Mohammadzadeh, Parinaz Izadyar, Mani Haghighi
Iran
2019
90min
Sales Iranian Independents
With English subtitles

The demolition of a remote prison complex, towering over the arid landscape of 1960s-era southern Iran, requires the transfer of its inmate population. The operation’s success guarantees a reward for the institution’s strict warden (Navid Mohammadzadeh, in a refreshing departure from the dishevelled delinquents he usually plays). However, when it becomes apparent that a prisoner is missing, his absence threatens to undermine the warden’s stellar reputation and any prospect of a promotion. There’s also the relationship between the warden and the prison’s striking social worker (Parinaz Izadyar), a budding romance that will likely play a role in the unfolding events. With its high concept premise of a frantic manhunt for an inmate in the very building that’s meant to keep him imprisoned, Nima Javidi nimbly reflects on notions of freedom and the fragile nature of authority.

Elhum Shakerifar

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