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Israfil

Iran 2017. Dir: Ida Panahandeh. 100 min. DCP

Ida Panahandeh’s assured follow-up to Nahid, her award-winning first feature (which screened in this series last year), confirms her talents and continues her attention to contemporary women’s concerns. Mahi (Hediyeh Tehrani), a widow living in Mazandaran Province, in northern Iran, is grieving her son’s death when she reencounters Behrouz (Pejman Bazeghi), her first love. Their romance years before had scandalized their families and caused Behrouz to leave town. When they renew the relationship, it meets with renewed disapproval, and has repercussions for Sara (Hoda Zeinolabedin), a young woman planning to emigrate to Canada. The film’s title references the archangel who blows the trumpet on the Day of Resurrection. “Panahandeh’s highly anticipated second feature is a meticulously constructed reflection on lost love, loneliness, and life choices” (London Film Festival). “Israfil further positions Panahandeh as one of the most singular voices in contemporary Iranian drama” (CineIran Festival, Toronto).