Circumstance

Circumstance

Directed by: Maryam Keshavarz
105 minutes

New England Premiere

Farsi with English subtitles


Atafeh and her brother Mehran grew up in an Iranian home filled with music, art, and intellectual curiosity. Now a teen, Atafeh joins her best friend, Shireen, to explore Tehran’s underground scene with youthful exuberance. Meanwhile, Mehran, who has struggled with drug abuse, returns home from rehab and renounces his former, decadent life with a vengeance. He devotes the time he once spent compulsively practicing classical music to a more dangerous outlet: fundamentalist religion.

Having lost his parents’ trust, Mehran is jealous of Atafeh’s loving relationship with their father and slowly becomes estranged from his family. As he disapprovingly observes a budding romantic relationship between Atafeh and Shireen, he becomes obsessed with saving Shireen from his sister’s influence. Once close, the siblings now find themselves at dangerous odds with each other.

As violence and desire collide, the once-safe haven of the family home becomes increasingly claustrophobic and threatening. Bold and sensuous, CIRCUMSTANCE provides a provocative look at women’s lives and forbidden love in modern-day Iran.