The harassed commanding officer of a remote military barracks orders a soldier who's been petitioning for New Year home leave to escort a juvenile offender (he stole some bread) to a reformatory in Tehran. It's a tough mission, not least because every bus in the country seems fully booked for the holiday, but the two set off, handcuffed together. En route, the soldier half-warms to the boy, especially after seeing him reviled and rejected by his family. The turning point is a detour to the soldier's home village, where he consolidates his engagement to a local girl. By the time he's ready to deliver his charge in Tehran, the soldier is more regretful than relieved. Mir-Karimi's debut feature in no way advances Iranian cinema, but its predictable virtues - good non-pro performances, attention to detail, measured pacing and framing, shafts of humour - make it very watchable.
Cast and crew
Seyyed Reza Mir-Karimi