Dorota Lech, TIFF Toronto International Film Festival 2020
Inspired by true events and marking the beginning of a trilogy about secrets and lies, 180° Rule is
the debut feature from writer-director Farnoosh Samadi.
A school teacher from Tehran is preparing to attend a wedding in northern
Iran. When her husband suddenly forbids her to go, she makes a choice that will place her on a painful
path to atonement.
Sara (Sahar Dolatshahi), a
beloved school teacher, lives in Tehran with her husband, Hamed (Pejman Jamshidi), and their five-
year-old daughter, Raha. They are preparing to attend a wedding in northern Iran,
but an unheralded work obligation for Hamed throws a wrench into the wheels of the family plan.
Sara is determined to join the celebration, but stern and stubborn
Hamed will not grant her permission to make the long journey with their child.
When reasoning and sweet talk fail, dogged Sara devises a plan to flout her husband’s authority.
But an unforeseeable event changes the family’s fortune and ensures that
Sara’s trespass surfaces. Stealth and calculated choices are no longer possible, and
in the blink of an eye, the pair are barrelling toward a collision.
Though the lens focuses on Sara’s plight, glimpses into the lives of her students
further illuminate the trials of being born a woman in a country where what is desired and what is
permitted are often at impossible odds.
Inspired by true
events and marking the beginning of a trilogy about secrets and lies, 180° Rule is the debut
feature from writer-director Farnoosh
Cloaked under the veil of
straightforward storytelling, the film lays bare the fallacy and untenability of rectitude.
Samadi’s piercing family
drama plunges into the pitfalls of tradition, providing a glimpse into the customary Iranian family
structure while adapting universal notions of remorse and penance.
Where moral dilemmas can usually be perceived in one of two ways, 180° Rule is a zero-sum portrait of