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Women’s Cinema from Tangiers to Tehran

Sunday, March 1, 2009
3:30 p.m. One Night
Niki Karimi (Iran, 2005)

Niki Karimi in Person

(Yek shab). The sexual politics of the modern Islamic world are unveiled in Niki Karimi’s elegant directorial debut, which follows a young woman through a night in Tehran, and depicts the lonely—and extremely conflicted—men she meets along the way. Escaping a lengthy argument with her mother, the twenty-something Negar heads to the streets. She’s given a ride by a corrupt businessman; the price of the fare, though, is a lecture on his theories that women were created for the pleasure of men. Arguing her way out of that predicament, she soon meets another man, and finally a third, whose tale of unhappiness leads to an unsettling secret being revealed. “Iranian society nowadays wants to move toward being a modern society but it’s just talking on the surface,” Karimi notes. One Night serves as a pointed glimpse into a society on the brink of change, seemingly only one conversation, or car ride, away.

—Jason Sanders

• Written by Karimi. Photographed by Hossein Jafarian. With Hanieh Tavassoli, Said Ebrahimifar, Abdolreza Fakhar, Nader Torkaman. (78 minutes, In Farsi with English subtitles, Color, 35mm, From mk2)