Friday, March 23, 2007

Film: Offside

I'm always intrigued with films that relate sports to social issues. It's doubtful that many people in the United States will see this film (it is, afterall, about soccer and Iran), but Offside is getting good reviews and it won the Silver Bear Grand Jury Prize at the 2006 Berlin Film Festival. In the Christian Science Monitor, Peter Rainer gave it an A- and wrote: "Jafar Panahi's 'Offside' is a small-scale movie that actually says quite a lot. In Iran, women are not allowed into the soccer stadiums to watch the matches. Despite the law, girls disguised as boys often attempt to infiltrate the matches. 'Offside' is about the travails of a group of girls who are caught and taken to a holding area on the upper tier of the stadium by young soldiers who, in many ways, are as naive as they are. The interaction between soldiers and captives becomes a microcosm for an entire culture. It's a wisp of a movie but it has stayed with me longer than much supposedly weightier fare."


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