Paradise Is Somewhere Else

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Movie Review by Alice Castle

Starring: Yar-Mohammad Damanipour, Jan-Mohammad Tajik, Fereshteh Sarabandi

Director: Abdolrasoul Golbon

Set in the deserts of Iran PARADISE IS SOMEWHERE ELSE tells the story of Eidak a young shepherd who dreams of leaving his goats to seek a more exciting life in the United Arab Emirates. Though the grass probably is greener there (due to oil-funded irrigation projects), Eidak takes his peaceful life and loving family for granted. Understanding his son’s frustrations, Eidak’s father suggests he take a job at his own workplace – a smoke-spewing factory run by a haughty engineer from the city. Eidak is not convinced his fortune lies in this industrial death trap and sets out to save the small fortune needed to secure his passage across the border with the local people-smuggler. To appease his parents he befriends Gol Mohammad, an Afghani immigrant fleeing war in his native land, hoping the young man will take his place as shepherd when he leaves. Once arranged there’s no going back. But everything changes when the family is suddenly drawn into a tribal blood feud.

This is a story of manhood, friendship, trust and betrayal – Iranian style. Director Abdolrasoul Golbon doesn’t have the cinematographic elegance of other Iranian directors but the portrayal of a life far from our own is revealing.

3 out of 6 stars