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Tehran Taboo

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Germany, Austria · 2017
1h 36m
Director Ali Soozandeh
Starring Arash Marandi, Alireza Bayram, Siir Eloglu, Zahra Amir Ebrahimi
Genre Drama, Animation

The lives of three strong-willed women and a young musician cross paths in Tehran’s schizophrenic society where sex, adultery, corruption, prostitution, and drugs coexist with strict religious law. In this bustling modern metropolis, avoiding prohibition has become an everyday sport and breaking taboos can be a means of personal emancipation.

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What are people saying?

What are critics saying?


The New York Times by Ben Kenigsberg

Subtlety and aesthetic elegance — the jerky animation complements the blunt tone — are not among the film’s virtues. Tehran Taboo aims to expose systemic hypocrisy; in that respect, it is brisk and bracing.


Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

That the film is animated, yet feels so thoroughly real, is a testament to its vivid use of rotoscoping as well as a solid script by director Ali Soozandeh, an Iranian expatriate.

75 by Godfrey Cheshire

Using skillful, involving storytelling and beautifully executed rotoscoped photography, director Ali Soozandeh creates a world of intersecting urban miseries and challenges.


The Guardian by Leslie Felperin

The script crackles with such bleak little jokes like this, relieving the tension in a work that could otherwise prove overwhelmingly depressing and borderline melodramatic.


New York Post by Sara Stewart

It’s a more somber companion to Marjane Satrapi’s 2007 film “Persepolis,” which explored life under the Iranian Revolution with dark humor: Here, the laughter’s mostly a prelude to tears.


The Observer (UK) by Wendy Ide

The characters and plotting tend to be a little schematic, but just because the trajectories of the women’s narratives are predictable, it doesn’t follow that the story lacks power. On the contrary – this is fearless, potent storytelling.

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