THE NEED (1991) [Feature]

Iran (MIFF 1994 )

Ali needs a job. Reza needs it more. There is only one opening in the printing shop where they have both been taken on trial, after impassioned pleas from uncles and neighbours have got them through the door.

On this simple premise director Alireza Davudnezhad has mounted a sensitive story that trumpets the triumph of honesty. The film anchors the initial rivalry between the two teenagers to the need to help their families. As they grow to understand each other's circumstances, a moral dilemma arises: the better-off of the two must decide to keep on or sacrifice his own well-being.

Relentlessly humanist, the story builds a relationship between the two teenage boys based on a selfless dedicated friendship in the midst of poverty.

Wonderfully written and acted, The Need won the Best Film Award at the 1992 Fajr Film Festival and is further testament to the Iranian cinema's ability to make small stories into sophisticated films of universal relevance.

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