Iron Island - 2005
Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof
A community of Iran's minority Sunni Arabs lives and works on an abandoned oil tanker off the shore of the Persian Gulf. Their patriarch, Captain Nehmat (Ali Nasirian), looks after his people, finds them income, settles their disputes, and plans their eventual move to land of their own.
Color, 1 hour 30 minutes, Farsi
Original Title: Jazireh-heh-Ahani
Firouzan Rank # 19
|Didar Razeghi||Pregnant Woman|
|Ramin Nadali||First Mate|
|Abdolkarim Ghani Kovani||Teacher|
|Director of Photography||Reza Jalali|
|Sound Recordist||Mohammad Mokhtari|
|Sound Mixer||Mahmoud Moussavinejhad|
|Music||Mohammad Reza Aligholi|
Approaching the Iron Island.
The ship includes its own school for the community's children.
Use of the ship's single phone is regulated by the Captain's right hand man Ahmad (Hossein Farzizadeh).
Captain Nehmat introduces a family to their new neighbors.
The ship's teacher informs Nehmat that the ship is slowly sinking.
Captain Nehmat is not shy about dealing out his advice, in this case he encourages a father to marry off his daughter.
One by one, the ship's boys jump in to the water in order to swim recently-filled oil barrels to shore.
Ahmad runs away.
The Captain makes good on his promise.
Rescuing one last fish.
By Dave Kehr The New York Times
A derelict oil tanker, anchored somewhere in the Persian Gulf, has become the slowly sinking home of a community of squatters in "Iron Island," an allegorical feature directed by the Iranian Mohammad Rasoulof. The squatters are members of an Arab minority in Iran's ethnic Persian society, and they are less oppressed than simply overlooked -- marginalized right out of the country and into the sea. Continued
By Kenneth Turan Los Angeles Times
Only countries under duress turn out motion pictures quite like the new Iranian film "Iron Island."
The second feature by young writer-director Mohammad Rasoulof, "Iron Island" has made the Cannes-Toronto-Telluride festival circuit that's become second nature to films from that country. But this is not a typical Iranian production. Simultaneously deeply allegorical and concretely physical, this striking film is not a typical production, period.
Almost all of "Iron Island" takes place on a huge oil tanker abandoned not far from the shore of the Persian Gulf. "There it stands, like a rock," says the admiring Capt. Nehmat (the veteran Ali Nasirian) as he ferries new residents out to the vessel. Continued
By Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid
The Roxie opens a winner this week with "Iron Island," a film from Iran that graced this spring's SF International Film Festival. Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof, it takes place on an abandoned oil tanker sitting in the Persian Gulf. A community of Sunni-Arab outcasts, led by Captain Nehmat (Ali Nasirian), occupies its rusting nooks and crannies. Many small dramas unfold within the ship's bowels, from a small boy who collects trapped fish to an illicit romance between the Captain's young charge (Hossein Farzizadeh) and an already-engaged young woman (Neda Paakdaman). This small community comes to an end when the shipboard teacher discovers that the craft is slowly sinking. Rasoulof guides his jumble of storylines like a master storyteller, balancing small moments of beauty, mystery, terror and humor -- as well as the larger parable. Like Claire Denis' recent "The Intruder," sensation sometimes outweighs plot, so just breathe and let it take you for a ride.
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