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UK: Artificial Eye
Cast: Abolfazl Karimi, Mahmoud Kalteh, Khajeh Araz Dordi, Behzad Shahrivari, Karima Adebibe, George Hashemzadeh, Hossein Shams
Director: Babak Jalali
Countries: Iran / UK / Italy
Languages: Persian / Turkmen (English subtitles)
UK: 95 mins
UK Certificate: 12A contains one use of strong language and a moderate sex reference
UK Release Date: 30 July 2010 (Limited Release)
FRONTIER BLUES, the debut feature film written and directed by the Iranian born Babak Jalali, presented as a world premiere in August 2009 at the 62nd Locarno International Film Festival directed by Frederic Maire.
Featuring four intertwined stories that are all set in Iran's northern frontier with Turkmenistan, a region that has long been neglected in Iranian cinema, the film is interesting not only for its magnificent, forlorn landscape but also for its multi-ethnic population of Persians, Turkmens and Kazakhs.
Alam is a 28 year-old Turkmen man who lives with his father and works on a chicken farm. He is teaching himself English in order to marry a girl called Ana and take her to Baku. Hassan is a 28 year-old Persian man who lives with his uncle. His only companions are his pet donkey and a tape player. Kazem, Hassan's uncle, owns a clothing store but the clothes he tries to sell never seem to fit anyone. A 55 year-old Turkmen minstrel is the subject of a book of photography by a photographer from Tehran. His wife was kidnapped by a shepherd in a green Mercedes many years ago.