Tedium

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Additional Venice Film Festival reviews

Venice Film Festival, Orizzonti

VENICE -- "Tedium" ("Khastegi") takes a hard look at some of Iran's transsexuals and their fight to make personal choices. The work is a bold expose of that society's unfeeling stand on transsexuals.  

Bahman Motamedian enlists the support of seven transsexuals to "remove the frontier" as he avers, "between documentary and fiction in order to create some kind of suspense between real and non-real." Thus, he uses non-professional actors on examining their experiences, though not every story is true. As the film has limited commercial appeal, it will receive its main exposure on the festival circuit.

Written by the director with the idea of exposing the Iranian society to the sorry plight of transsexuals, the film works splendidly at this level. Take the case of a young man, whose mother cannot accept that her son for 25 years now wants to become her daughter. But the "man" trapped in the wrong body is desperate for a sex change. Then there is this woman, who cuts her hair short, wears men's clothes and drives a cab. But she is all the time jeered at by fellow cabbies, who cannot understand why a woman would not wear a veil.

One girl gets locked up in a room, another guy gets kicked out of his house for being a pansy, and the tales of such humiliation and torment go on, sometimes for much too long. The film certainly needs excision by at least 20 minutes.

Cast: Asghar Nejad, Ghavi Bal, Moghaddam, Sayanpoor, Foghani, Amjadinia and Rahimi. Director/screenwriter: Bahman Motamedian. Producers: Bahman Motamedian, Esmaeil Mirzaei Ghomi. Director of photography: Homayoon  Paivar. Music: Iman Vaziri. Costume designer: Navid Farahmarzi. Editor:  Behzad Mosleh, Bahman Motamedian. No rating, 76 minutes.

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