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Before Summer Ends

(Avant la fin de l’été)
France/Switzerland 2017. Dir: Maryam Goormaghtigh. 80 min. DCP

“If Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise had been transplanted to the south of France, the result would be something like Before Summer Ends.”

Fledgling director Maryam Goormaghtigh’s bittersweet chronicle of a single summer in the life of three Iranian students in France is an utterly unique, beguiling mixture of documentary and fiction in the perennial form of a road movie. When Hossein and Ashkan learn that friend Arash has decided to return to Iran, they convince him to take a trip to the south of France, secretly hoping he’ll meet a woman and change his mind. But their encounter with two young women in a punk band does not yield the expected results, and more serious realities begin to dawn on them. Playing themselves, the three leads are by turns hilarious and heartbreaking. But the greatest feat belongs to Goormaghtigh, who made the film on a shoestring with three friends and a wonderfully empathetic eye for life’s quirks.



"Funny, tender, delightful ... One of the smallest, humblest films of the year, it’s encased in an enveloping, enormous compassion that also makes it one of the kindest."

The Playlist | full review