Jess McCabe // 9 July 2009
Just a quick heads up, if you get a chance to see Offside, then do. Women aren’t allowed into the football stadium in Iran, and this is a documentary-style comedy about Iranian girls who dress up as boys in order to sneak in, in order to see the World Cup qualifier with Bahrain up close.
The girls are caught by the army, and sit out the match at the back of the stadium, tantalisingly close to the action. You might assume this story would be more threatening and depressing, and there is a dark undertone, but it is funny and quite lighthearted at times. There’s an interesting interview with the director here – in order to get permission to film, they pretended the film was about boys going to a football match.
It was screened as part of Amnesty’s Iranian Film Festival in London – tickets are free but you have to book in advance on the Amnesty website.
On 22 July, they’re screening The Day I Became a Woman:
Women at threee stages of thei lives in Iran – a girl on her 9th birthday no longer plays with the boy who had been her friend; a young woman who enters a bicycle race against the wishes of her husband; an old woman who comes into money.
Then in August there’s a screening of Persepolis and The Circle:
The Circle begins with a black screen and the cries of a woman giving birth in a maternity ward. The newborn child is a baby girl, the grandmother moans ‘the in-laws will be furious. They’ll insist on divorce’.