A film by Asghar Farhadi
2009 / Iran/ 119 minutes
23rd Oct 2016/ 5.45 pm / Perks Mini Theater
“About Elly” the fourth feature from talented Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi opens with a group of Iranian college friends—among them three couples, two with children—decamping to a rustic villa on the scenic banks of the Caspian Sea.
They have organised this trip quite impulsively: when they arrive, there is some confusion about where they are supposed to be staying, and they have to move into a beachfront villa that happens to be vacant, but is chaotic and derelict. And there is something else.
One of the party, the vivacious Sepideh has invited along someone of whom they know next to nothing: a young woman called Elly , who is their children's teacher. Mischievous Sepideh is hoping to set Elly up with the single friend in their party: Ahmad, who is recently divorced and has just returned from a long stay doing business in Germany.
This film is a revealing light on the elaborate culture of deceit that’s part of modern Iranian society about upper-middle-class Tehranis. The trip starts promisingly with singing and charades but the following morning, panic breaks out. Farhadi manages the transition with utmost skill.
“About Elly” is clearly the work of a master in the making, an artist on the cusp of greatness. There’s almost no one working today who makes films so emotionally honest.
Asghar Farhadi was born in Isfahan, Iran in 1972. Whilst at school he became interested in writing, drama and the cinema, took courses at the Iranian Young Cinema Society and started his career as a filmmaker by making super 8mm and 16mm films. He graduated with a Master’s Degree in Film Direction from Tehran University in 1998.
During his studies, he not only wrote and directed student plays, but also wrote plays for national radio and directed for television with such shows as the hit series Tale of a City.In 2001, Farhadi wrote the screenplay for Ebrahim Hatamikia’s box-office and critical success Low heights. His directorial debut was with 2003’s Dancing in the Dust. This film went on to participate in the Moscow Film Festival, where it won both the Best Leading Actor and Film Critics awards.
Farhadi made his second feature film, Beautiful City, in 2004 which won the Best feature film award at the Warsaw Film Festival 2004, the India International Film Festival and Moscow’s Faces of Love Film Festival. “Chahar shanbeh souri / Fireworks Wednesday”, his third feature, award winner at the Locarno International Film Festival 2006, has also been successful in other international festivals. The film has been released in both Europe and the USA.
On 19 December 2011, he was announced as being on the jury for the 62nd Berlin International Film Festival, scheduled to be held in February 2012. On 15 January 2012, his movie Nader and Simin, A Separation won the Golden Globe for the Best Foreign Language Film.The film was also the official Iranian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2012 Academy Awards where apart from getting nominated in this category, it also received a nomination in the Best Original Screenplay category. On the 26 February 2012, Nader and Simin, A Separation became the first Iranian movie to have received an Oscar for the best foreign language film at the 84th edition of the Academy Awards. This marked Farhadi as the first Iranian to have won an Academy Award in any of the competitive categories.