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SECRET BALLOT aka RAYE MAKHFI
USA: Sony Pictures Classics
UK: Artificial Eye Film Co
Cast: Nassim Abdi, Cyrus Abidi, Youssef Habashi, Farrokh Shojaii, Gholbahar Janghali
Director: Babak Payami
Countries: Canada / Iran / Italy / Switzerland
Language: Farsi (English subtitles)
USA & UK: 105 mins
USA Rated: G
UK Certificate: U
USA Release Date: 9 August 2002 (Limited Release)
UK Release Date: 13 September 2002
An unsuspecting soldier (Cyrus Abidi) awakens to discover that he can forget about another uneventful day at his lonely seaside post. It's Election Day!
A ballot box is parachuted down as a young woman (Nassim Abdi) pulls up to the shore of the remote island. To the soldier's surprise, she's actually the government bureaucrat in charge of the local voting. They get off to a rocky start since the soldier expects election agents to be men.
Whether he wants to or not, the soldier is thrown into an elections adventure that just may put him out of a job. Orders from above force him to accompany the female agent in an army jeep across the island's dusty desert. The agent literally leaves no stone unturned in her search for ballots. Many a surprise lies along their route, as they find themselves in one absurd situation after another.
So much can happen in a single day, especially when opposites attract. Views can change; hearts can melt. By sunset, a woman's idealistic notions can come back down to earth. And a lonely man can discover there's more to voting by secret ballot than he ever imagined.