It's Winter

  • Film
  • Drama
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Kicking off with memorably beautiful music and images, this third fiction feature from Rafi Pitts – a London-educated Iranian whose previous film was a documentary on Abel Ferrara – is a stylish, confident fable that at first comes across a little like a reworking of ‘The Postman Always Rings Twice’. After a man recently made jobless takes a train to seek work abroad, his attractive young wife (Mitra Hadjar), daughter and mother are left to fend for themselves in their small home on the edge of town. Months pass with no news of the husband; understandably, doubts arise as to whether he’s even still alive, and life gets harder. Meanwhile, a handsome but feckless mechanic (Ali Nicksolat) who’s new to town notices the woman now rumoured to be a widow, and starts hanging around in the hope of catching her attention…

The crucial difference here from the James M Cain story is that Pitts never plays this situation for suspense, other than how the heroine will respond to her suitor’s advances. Still, the film is as specifically aligned to its setting as Cain’s novel was to southern California, and it reflects on how poverty, unemployment and the need to seek work elsewhere affect Iranian families. That, however, makes it all sound too analytically political, for it’s a determinedly lyrical meditation on how economic factors and loneliness may influence both social and sexual relationships. Happily, sturdy performances all round ensure the film feels real rather than merely ‘poetic’, and even though it doesn’t pack a particularly strong punch in emotional terms, it’s an impressively intelligent piece of work, and well worth catching.

Release details

Rated: 12A
Release date: Friday December 15 2006
Duration: 86 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rafi Pitts
Screenwriter: Rafi Pitts
Cast: Hashem Abdi
Mitra Hajjar
Ali Nicksaulat
Said Orkani
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