Title: Protest [Etenaz]
Massoud Kimiayi, Mohammad Reza Foroutan
PG / Parental Advisory
Crime, Drama, Romance, Misogyny
Country of Origin:
Biography of Director, Original Trailer
The disturbing concept of 'Honour killing' is the backdrop to this disappointing mixed bag from director Massoud Kimiayi's film “Protest”. Amur (Dariush Arjmand) kills his brothers prospective wife when he uncovers an affair. He is caught and in his subsequent imprisonment is treated as hero by his fellow inmates for maintaining his families honour. However upon his release 12 years later the radical political and social changes in Iran mean he is now regarded as a barbaric embarrassment, and that his college educated brother Reza is now making his money delivering pizzas.
This would be a fertile ground for any film maker especially one of the few who has survived from the pre-revolutionary period and continued his work in the Iranian film industry, but despite striking bold ground, the film is not a success. While it's dramatic content and strong emotions are far away from the popular, film-festival favourites like The Apple, the sheer radical shift is not enough to sustain an awkwardly composed film. The density of characters some overly dwelled upon and others cast aside without a care makes it difficult to identify with anyone. At times it's like watching a 180 minute soap opera condensed into 100 minutes, especially when married with Majid Entezami's melodramatic music.
Kimiayi's 1998 “Mercedes” was far more popular at home and abroad but Protest was banned from Iranian cinemas after just one month, though not for it's quality but for the amount of make-up worn by certain female cast members.
All in all it's a misfiring first step on what may be eventually become a very interesting new direction for Iranian cinema.