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Nahid

Iran 2015. Dir: Ida Panahandeh. 105 min. DCP

Iran’s unusual concept of “temporary marriage” is the backdrop to emerging writer-director Ida Panahandeh’s emotionally rich drama, awarded the Avenir (“future”) prize in the Un Certain Regard section of Cannes in 2015. Sareh Bayat (caretaker Razieh in Asghar Farhadi’s Oscar-winning A Separation) plays eponymous Nahid, a debt-ridden divorcee and single mom struggling in a coastal town in northern Iran. A romance with Masoud (Pejman Bazeghi), a decent, well-off widower, offers Nahid the prospect of stability and happiness. But remarriage will violate the terms of her child custody settlement with Ahmad (Navid Mohammadzadeh), her deadbeat ex-husband. Panahandeh’s precise, unhurried film is well-served by Morteza Gheidi’s moody, painterly cinematography. “Strong performances ground this socially poignant drama ... Nahid is a compelling companion piece to A Separation” (Jordan Mintzer, Hollywood Reporter).