By Alyson Powers
We are all human after all.
Prior to watching, the title and timing sirened alarms for delicate handling. But since the director does not behave, nor shall this brief write up.
All the laws you would imagine to be enforced in the Middle Eastern origin family fold when a young rebel girl whirls around fearlessly. A bundle of strength, emotion, and to be truthful: selfishness, this young Iranian-American girl assumes the greatest of risks. Family alienation. Her unflinching mother played by the Niousha Noor proves to be the star in script and performance. She may be the very one to save the world as we know it. If a headstrong mother can overcome a generational gap posing extreme odds from a future-fueled daughter, then why can’t anyone?
The film zig zags in awkward stages, must be all the boys. Wink. With eight brothers one daughter, can you guess the black sheep? In this case more than one. Layla Mohammadi as adult Leila narrates to help connect, and playfully keeps engaging you each time you start to slip out of interest, but it’s really the younger version of Leila played by Chiara Stella with a bright deliverance of flair. And while on that word…. Flair is what keeps the Persian Version alive. Through vibrant color, feistiness, talks of using the back door (gasp), dashes of illegal drugs, two very important dance scenes, a Cyndi Lauper interlude, and tears of letting go– The Persian Version LIVES. It wins the Audience Award and the Screenwriting Award, pulling it all through with its flair alone.
If you can handle jolts of crassness, it could be a fun PG film to watch with family during your holiday. Note: this film is banned in Iran as well as its writer / director. Also note: keep debate coming from a place of love and of thankfulness for the bonds we are lucky to share. They are rare.