|Tehroun, DQ winner Miskolc, Hungary, 2010|
dir: Nader Takmil Homayoun
prod: Nader Takmil Homayoun, Jean-Philippe Gaud, Caroline Bonmarchand
scr: Nader Takmil Homayoun, Jean-Philippe Gaud, Mehdi Boustani
editor: Jean-Philippe Gaud
mus: Christophe Julien, Stéphane Le Bellec
cast: Ali Ebdali, Sara Bahrami, Farzin Modades, Missagh Zareh, Shahrzad Kamal Zadeh
Film source: Memento Films International, 6 cité Paradis, Paris, France 75010. FAX: 33-1-4247-1124. EMAIL: email@example.com.
Tehroun, a title taken from the slang word ascribed to Tehran’s slums, aggressively captures within the framework of a breathless crime thriller the underbelly of a society twisting in ruin. Hard-working Ibrahim, a professional beggar, struggles to keep his trade afloat with the added accessories of a helpless infant he carries all day in the hot sun and a concocted tragic story of a fictitious dead mother. The truth of the matter is that the baby is not even his, but rather a stolen child he rents in installments from the local gang lord in order to bump up his daily earnings. They live in squalor with his two longtime friends, both of them equally ill-equipped to care for a newborn. When his pregnant wife makes an unexpected excursion to Tehran, Ibrahim entrusts the baby to a bumbling youngster, who promptly loses it to a conniving prostitute. Their meager lives now unraveling, Ibraham must either find the baby or a way to pay the difference, a journey that only leads him further into the self-destructive depravity of Tehroun. Winner of the audience prize at the Venice Film Festival’s Critic’s Week, first-time feature director Nader Takmil Homayoun’s controversial exposé is a bracingly frank portrayal of poverty that revels in what’s left unsaid. Tehroun’s humanist core offers up characters who remain nuanced despite being already long dehumanized by their surroundings, even as they try ruthlessly to claw their way out of them at any cost.
Landon Zakheim, San Francisco film festival