CRITICAL – Nights of Mashhada serial killer film inspired by real events in Iran, does not renew the genre.
At Cannes, Nights of Mashhad, by Ali Abbasi, earned Zar Amir Ebrahimi the Best Actress award. A very political price. Exiled to France since 2008 following a sextape scandal – a video stolen from her laptop before going viral – the 41-year-old actress embodies resistance to the oppression of the Islamic Republic of Iran, where relationships outside marriage are prohibited.
Iranian authorities have compared Nights of Mashhad to satanic verses, by Salman Rushdie. The same people have just arrested, in Iran, the dissident filmmakers Mostafa Aleahmad, Mohammad Rasoulof (golden bear at the Berlinale with The Devil does not exist), and Jafar Panahi (golden bear with Taxi Tehran), accused of “disorders of public order”. Censorship and repression are well underway in Tehran.
In Nights of Mashhad, Zar Amir Ebrahimi plays Rahimi, a journalist from Tehran who investigates a series of murders of prostitutes in the holy city of Mashhad. So…