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We Like You, Miss Yaya

(Khanom Yaya)
Iran 2018. Dir: Abdolreza Kahani. 82 min. DCP

Award-winning Iranian filmmaker Abdolreza Kahani, here directing his eleventh feature, has had repeated troubles with the censors. Several of his films (including his previous feature, Delighted) were denied release at home. Kahani opted to work abroard for We Like You, Miss Yaya, said to be the first Iran-Thailand co-production. Popular actors Reza Attaran, Hamid Farrokhnezhad, and Amin Hayai head the cast. The story concerns Morteza and Naser, brothers-in-law travelling to China on business. When they decide to detour to the Thai resort of Pattaya, they have a series of mishaps — and a series of encounters with the titular Miss Yaya (Nitaya Chasirico). The film ran into a different kind of release problem in Iran: it was poorly received by audiences after being marketed as a mainstream comedy. But Kahani, playing with stereotypes and expectations, clearly has more interesting (and more absurdist) things in mind.