Offside - 2006
Directed by Jafar Panahi
Filmed almost entirely during an actual 2005 Iran-Bahrain match that resulted in Iran's qualification for the 2006 World Cup, several young Iranian girls, barred from attending soccer matches under the laws of the Islamic Republic, attempt to sneak into Tehran's Azadi Stadium by dressing up as boys. When their attempts to blend in with the crowd are easily discovered they are forced to spend the remainder of the game in a holding pen. The girls question the laws that prevent them from sharing a national victory and win sympathy from the soldiers, bound by duty, to watch them.
Color, 1 hour 32 minutes, Farsi
Trailer currently not available, Watch Scene (Farsi w/English subtitles)
Firouzan Rank # 20
|Sima Mobarak Shahi||First Girl|
|Safar Samandar||Azeri Soldier|
|Shayesteh Irani||Smoking Girl|
|Mohammad Kheirabadi||Mashadi Soldier|
|Ida Sadeghi||Girl Soccer Player|
|Golnaz Farmani||Girl with Chador|
|Mahnaz Zabihi||Soldier Girl|
|Nazanin Sedighzadeh||Young Girl|
|Massoud Kheymeh Kaboud||Tehrani Soldier|
|Mohsen Tanabandeh||Ticket Seller|
|Reza Farhani||Old Man|
|Mohammad Reza Gharadaghi||Boy with Firecrackers|
|Mohammad Mokhtar Azad||Hajji|
|Ali Roshanpour||Bus Passenger|
|Ali Baradari||Bus Passenger|
|Reza Kheyri||Bus Passenger|
|Massoud Ghiasvand||Blind Man|
|Director of Photography||Mahmoud Kalari|
|Sound Recordist||Nezam Aldin Kiaee|
|Production Designer||Iraj Raminfar|
|Sound Mixer||Mohammad Reza Delpaak|
Hamid Reza Adaab
Sima Mobarak Shahi's character tries not to stand out on the bus ride to the stadium.
According to Panahi, the man with the cell phone was an actual security official, unaware of the filming, who attempted to stop the actress Sima from entering the stadium.
A more elaborate plan aided by co-conspirators.
Sima's character is led to the holding pen after being caught.
The girls have to rely on the cheers of the fans and the play-by-play of the guards to follow the game.
After one of the girls escapes, the soldier from Mashhad (Mohammad Kheirabadi) makes a vain attempt to find her in the crowd, this shot is one of the few actual glimpses of the game in the movie.
One of the more clever disguises the soldiers have yet to see, though impersonating a soldier carries stiffer penalties.
The usual suspects.
En route to the vice squad, the girls persuade the soldiers to let them hear the end of the game on the radio.
Panahi shot the closing sequence during the spontaneous street celebrations that took place after Iran's victory and qualification for the 2006 World Cup.
By Jumana Faouky TIME Magazine Europe
With "Offside," Jafar Panahi continues his cinematic crusade against Iran's social ills and asks why football is only for the boys.
Six girls wearing baseball caps and baggy shirts mope around in a makeshift prison just outside the walls of Tehran's Azadi Stadium. From behind the flimsy cage, the girls can hear cheers erupt as Iran and Bahrain battle it out for a place in the World Cup. Under arrest for trying to sneak into the football match disguised as boys, the girls await their punishment -- but being so tantalizingly close to the game is torture enough. One of the captives debates with a reluctant guard about the logic of Iran's law banning women from stadiums. "There are lots of men in there," he argues. "They'll be cursing and swearing." Without missing a beat, she replies: "We promise not to listen." Continued
By Jeffrey M. Anderson Combustible Celluloid
Like his other films, Jafar Panahi's "Offside" has been banned from Iranian cinemas. His colleagues, for the most part, tend to work within their government's strict censorship guidelines, but Panahi refuses to play ball. He has become the designated teller of stories about the underprivileged, and about women in general. His masterpiece, "The Circle" (2001), was a brilliant, yet hopeless triptych about women prisoners (literally and figuratively) and their various forms of sexual oppression, ranging from pregnancy to prostitution. "Offside" is considerably lighter and more enjoyable; it's merely concerned with the fact that Iranian women can't attend soccer matches. Continued
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