A phrase I like to use when summing up a film is that a movie must either educate, entertain, or both. If a film does neither than for me it fails, but thats just my opinion. Having very recently watched Septembers of Shiraz, I, without a milliseconds pause, say that it not only entertained me in many places, but the film educated me in every moment of its running time.
Taking the viewer to 1979, to the country of Iran. A country that I suppose most people nowadays know from the current media stories and perhaps a viewing or two of the wonderful Ben Affleck directed film Argo. Perhaps some viewers even remember the Iranian Embassy siege in London in 1980. I suspect that very few people know what life was life for people living in Iran around 1979. I include myself in that. In the 105 minutes we spend in the company of Septembers of Shiraz. The film makes you think of the plight of refuges,current political situations around the world, but mainly how petty some people can be in some countries. I spend a lot of time on social media and people are either going ballistic about a new film trailer they dont like, or whoever the judge is on some semi reality show. I urge all of those people to sit down and watch Septembers of Shiraz. It puts life into perspective with a bullet to the emotions.
Adrian Brody is back at the top of his game, this is the Adrian Brody of The Pianist, thankfully moving away from the Adrian Brody that appeared in films such as Predators, and King Kong. Adrian Brody should have ‘Best Actor’ awards lining up for him because of this performance as Isaac, an Iranian citizen dragged into the world of a revolution. Unsure why he is there, and not sure how long or what outcome his life will have.. Salma Hyek who I had actually not even realised was in the film until the closing credits gives a career best as Farnez, the wife of Isaac and also a woman who refuses to bow down to situations that jeopardize her self, her husband of their children .
The fact this story is based on true events, and the award winning book by Dalia Sofer, the story and the performances hammer home even more just how bleak this world can be and not only do we root for Isaac and Farnez, but we also root for the country that is under near collapse due to political chaos.
Director Wayne Blair does a fantastic job with not only a subject matter that is extremely sensitive, but also gets career best performances from his cast and that all adds up to make Septembers of Shiraz one of the most powerful films Ive seen this year. A film that should rank alongside films such as The Killing Fields, Hotel Rwanda, and Oliver Stones Heaven and Earth, as films we need to watch in order to educate ourselves in the ways of the world.
Septembers of Shiraz on DVD on Monday 18th July