Although most of us look to America and the UK for cinematic storytelling, it must be acknowledged that a lot of cinema’s most inventive and compelling stories come from countries that don’t speak English as their first language or at all. Fortunately, we are opening our eyes to international cinema, evidenced by Parasite’s historic best picture win earlier this year. Now that some of us have crossed the one-inch tall barrier, there are so many more outstanding international films for us to sink your teeth into.
One such film is 180 Degree Rule, this Iranian film, written and directed by Farnoosh Samadi, tells the story of Sara, a school teacher who prepares to attend a family wedding with her daughter when her husband suddenly forbids them to attend. She decides to go anyway, keeping it a secret from her husband; however, this turns out to be the biggest mistake of Sara’s entire life.
180 Degree Rule is a harrowing film to say the least. Farnoosh Samadi feature debut is certainly not for the faint of heart and is one of the most disturbing films I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. Samadi writes a simple, yet emotionally devastating story and deftly directs the film and its exceptional actors to deliver on the heart wrenching potential of the screenplay.
As well as, Samadi’s outstanding feature debut efforts, the authenticity of the performances is what really makes 180 Degree Rule the harrowing masterpiece it is. The entire ensemble cast are phenomenal, however it is Sahar Dolatshahi’s performance as the films lead that will haunt you long after the credits have rolled.
Overall, 180 Degree Rule is one of the most challenging watches of my life; however there are few films that have has such a profound impact upon me. With a strong directorial eye, a simple yet effective script and numerous heart breaking performances, especially from that off Sahar Dolatshahi, 180 Degree Rule is a challenge worth accepting.
Check out my interview with Farnoosh Samadi tomorrow at 2pm.