Nights of Mashhad Ali Abbasi

Yannick Philly


Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbasi writes a thriller about the true story of a serial killer who broke out in the holy city of Mashhad.

Summary: Iran 2001, a journalist from Tehran delves into the most notorious suburb of the holy city of Mashhad to investigate a series of women’s murders. You will quickly realize that the local authorities are in no hurry to solve the case. These crimes are the work of one man who claims to cleanse the city of its sins by attacking the prostitutes at night.

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Danish-Iranian director Ali Abbasi revealed at Cannes the dwarf love story “Border”, which won an award in the Un Certain “Attention” section, elevating the style of “Les Nuits de Mashan” in competition for the Palme d’Or. Based on a story that made headlines in the early 2000s, this serial killer action movie set in Iran is a series of murders committed primarily against prostitutes in the holy city of Mashhad. If the script and theater respect the classics of the genre, alternating with some night crime and investigation scenes, it is their context that makes their originality. Ali Abbasi not only depicts an avatar of the absolute male strangling stray sheep at night, but presses where it hurts, showing how the absolute patriarchal system in Iranian society breeds monsters willing to kill women in order to “purify” the entire society. The third act is constructive in this respect: not only does the criminal, once caught, benefit from the support of his family and friends, at least at first, but the whole of society seems to approve of his actions, as if she were a less valuable whore. From the tomato plant … If we can regret that the director takes so long to condense the character of the killer, only to prove that “masculinity” is passed down from father to son, then the character of the journalist collects all the votes. As soon as she appeared, loudly, in thin jeans and short hair, I commanded respect. In a world of men where the slightest stare can turn against her, the stubborn young woman (Zahra Amir Ebrahimi could win a translation award for the role) must never let her down, even if it means sacrificing her personal life and his feelings. . But can you win the match when the country is suffering from religious extremism? Unfortunately, the demonstration is very strong.

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