Monday, February 13, 2012


CIRCUMSTANCE is a peculiar film. I knew very little about it going in. The DVD rental box does not mention that it is a foreign film, that it is not in English, or that it is about a lesbian couple in Iran. I knew that it was a Middle Eastern coming-of-age story, but you would not know that from the box. I'm not sure what they think they are hiding, do they think renters won't notice these things when they happen on screen?

Of course all of those elements interest me, because I like learning about cultures that are foreign to my experience. However, I felt this film did not do a particularly good job of making me feel how difficult it must be to be gay in Iran. I was actually shocked at how little supervision the two teen girls get, how much trouble they could get into without being jailed (or worse), and how easy it was for them to have a lesbian relationship with no one noticing.

The movie certainly did not make much of an attempt to let me get to know these characters or the culture they were in. I honestly feel like I could not describe these characters outside of physical attributes or the fact that they were in love. They also aren't terribly sympathetic as they are both goof-offs who party too much.

It's a shame, I think the film was a wasted opportunity to help Americans understand Middle Eastern life.

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