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With ‘Holy Spider’ at Cannes 2022, Here Are 7 Other Iranian Films to Watch

Iranian film 'Holy Spider' shook the Cannes Film Festival. Here are other Iranian films which made a similar impact

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The films getting screened at the Cannes Film Festival haven't made much noise. But one film that stood out and jolted the viewers to wake up and take notice was Iranian film Holy Spider. This gritty drama about a real-life serial killer earned a thunderous seven-minute standing ovation. It is surely one of the most talked about films at Cannes this year.

Iranian films face intense scrutiny from their government and they are not allowed to show any kind of nudity but Holy Spider breaks all those rules. Despite several restrictions, new age Iranian filmmakers are making their presence felt at international festivals. Here are few powerful Iranian films that you must watch.

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1. Leila's Brothers (2022)

Iranian film 'Holy Spider' shook the Cannes Film Festival. Here are other Iranian films which made a similar impact

A still from Leila's Brothers.

(Photo Courtesy: Twitter)

Written and directed by Saeed Roustayi, the film is about 40-year-old Leila who has spent all her life taking care of her parents and four brothers. While the homebound brothers are constantly getting in trouble for trying to make quick money, Leila is the only one earning and now she has a plan to turn things over.

This family drama highlights the cracks in the rather patriarchal society. Again, Leila's Brothers is one of those films which might never see the light of day in Iran but was loved by the audiences at Cannes Film Festival this year. We will keep you updated on when and where you can watch this film.

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2. A Hero (2021)

This film was Iran's official submission for the 'Best International Feature Film' category of the 94th Academy Awards in 2022. The film which is written and directed by two time Oscar-winning filmmaker Asghar Farhadi who tells the story of a prisoner called Rahim who is serving prison term for not being able to repay his debt.

But when he comes out on two day parole few incidents make the talk of the town. To know what happens further, you need to watch this remarkable Iranian drama now available only on Amazon Prime Video.

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3. Salesman (2016)

Another masterpiece delivered by filmmaker Asghar Farhadi is The Salesman. The story revolves a husband and wife who move into a new apartment after their flat becomes damaged. Once relocated, the wife gets violently assaulted in the new home. This dramatically changes their lives, creating a simmering tension between husband and wife. You can watch this film on Amazon Prime Video.

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4. A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)

Like horror films? Then you can't miss this one. This is the first Iranian vampire film which is set in the fictional Iranian ghost town of Bad City. It shows the rebellious side of a girl with fangs and supernatural power fighting the patriarchy in her own way. The girl walks alone at night with no fear; she is the one to be feared. Another amazing film again available on Amazon Prime Video.

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5. Big Bad Wolves (2013)

This one is not made for the frail-hearted. The film touches on the inner lives of sexual predators. It portrays the story of three different men whose lives collide after a young girl gets brutally murdered. This film also got applauded by filmmaker Quentin Tarantino-- he called it 2013's best film.

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6. This Is Not a Film (2011)

This is not a film but an Iranian documentary by Jafar Panahi which is partly shot on an iPhone. The documentary depicts the life of filmmaker Jafar Panachi during his arrest. A sad truth when freedom of expression is taken away from a human being. The filmmaker makes a video to expose the government who has criminally silenced him.

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7. A Separation (2011)

A Separation became the first Iranian film to win the Oscar for 'Best Foreign Language Film' and was also nominated for the 'Best Original Screenplay' Oscar. The film is about a married couple who is in a dilemma whether to move abroad to give their daughter a good education or to stay at home to care for the husband’s ailing father. Filmmaker Asghar Farhadi beautifully exposes the cracks in the society through this film.

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