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Made in Iran

The title’s translation is based on the listing on IMDB

ساخت ایران

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Lacking Subtlety

By Amir Faress • 12/25/19

Naderi was a true trailblazing giant of the 1970s Iranian cinema. His debut films were rife with insights into the dark underbelly of urban life in the capital. Going where no other filmmaker would dare to go, Naderi showed life as experienced by the so-called scum of the city, those at the bottom of the barrel. The same, however, cannot be said of Made in Iran, Naderi’s final film before the 1979 Revolution.


Made about a year before Raging Bull, Scorsese’s warts-and-all depiction of the 1940s mob-infested boxing world in New York, Naderi’s film dealt with the exact same theme – but it falls way short. Having done little research, Naderi brings absolutely no insight into this world, and, in fact, gets it all wrong. The film, for instance, shows its protagonist, Ali, contractually obligated to throw a fight, as his contract leaves him no choice but to obey his bosses (a requirement which apparently extends to illegal demands).

One needs not be an attorney (or a mob boss, for that matter!) to know that shady organizations do not put incriminating conditions into writing in the form of a contract. As shown in Raging Bull, conditions and demands of this nature are invariably communicated orally – and in secret – leaving no paper trail.

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