About Elly (Darbareye Elly) (12A)
21 September - 27 September 2012
After A Separation walked away with the top prizes at the Berlin Film Festival and the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film, it is wonderful that director Asghar Farhadi’s earlier film About Elly is finally getting a release in UK cinemas. A story of divided loyalties and dangerous secrets, this film is every bit as compelling as the one which so many of you came to see at DCA last year.
A group of longstanding friends from Tehran organise a reunion at a Caspian Sea beach resort. Sepideh (Golshifteh Farahani) has invited Elly, her daughter’s nursery school teacher, to join them. She plans to introduce Elly to the recently divorced Ahmad (Shahab Hosseini), who has returned from Germany for a visit. Everything seems to be going well until a tragic event throws the group into turmoil and reveals cracks in their friendships which have been deepening quietly for years.
Tense and atmospheric, About Elly successfully walks the line between morality tale and expertly crafted thriller. Exploring very big questions about right and wrong, it also examines the nature of friendship and loyalty. While Farhadi gives us a rarely-seen glimpse of modern life for middle class Iranians, the power of his storytelling is absolutely universal. We wouldn’t be at all surprised if there’s an American remake on the cards.