The Circle

A quantum leap forward from Panahi's films about children, this is a panoramic account of the various ways women are oppressed in present-day Iran. Taking La Ronde as its structural model, the narrative passes from one woman to another, finally completing a circle which can only be described as vicious. It opens in a maternity ward with a woman in labour producing a daughter, to the dismay of her in-laws, and ends in a police station, provocatively suggesting an equivalence between the two institutions. The main characters are three women prisoners released on (temporary?) parole; Panahi provides no background for them, the better to see how they cope with a society in which they have virtually no autonomy. Glimpses of Tehran's underworld bespeak a social economy untouched by either the country's ruling clerics or the reformist government. Brave and powerful.

Release details

Duration: 91 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Jafar Panahi
Screenwriter: Kambozia Partovi
Cast: Maryiam Oarvin Almani
Nargess Mamizadeh
Fereshteh Sadr Orafai
Monir Arab
Elham Saboktakin
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