As Berlinale drew to a close, some of its attending Iranian productions were investigated by attending journalists to impressive results. Now, Pooya Badkoobeh’s debut drama Dressage has been explored by Alissa Simon for Variety, who writes a glowing review that should whet the appetites of Iranian film fans with hopes to see it released in their local theaters eventually.
Badkoobeh’s film tells the story of Golsa, a middle-class only child who, along with some well-to-do friends, decides to rob a local grocery store out of malicious boredom. After meaninglessly robbing the location and injuring the Afghani employee working there, they foolishly realize upon return that they neglected to destroy the resultant security footage, and Golsa is pressured to retrieve it in order to protect everyone from the law. After finding it but refusing to reveal its hidden location to her confederates, distrust and emotional unsteadiness spreads through the privileged, low-rent, high society disaffected criminals.
Variety describes lead actress Negar Moghaddem as resembling a young Golshifteh Farahani, and that “…director Badkoobeh harnesses Golsa’s sullent, restless energy to keep the film compelling.” Overall, Dressage appears to take a strong look at class divisions in present-day Iranian society in a face-forward, honest, and fearless manner.
‘Dressage’ has not yet been picked up for a wider theatrical release after its Berlinale premiere, but it was nominated for a GWFF Best First Feature Award.
Cover photo: Actress Negar Moghaddam as Golsa