Bandar Band Unclassified 15+
Amid Iran’s widespread 2019 floods, three young musicians set out for a career-making gig in Tehran. But as the water rises, their chances of making it on time diminish.
With only a small van between them and the increasingly inclement conditions outside, the Bandar Band – Navid, Amir and the latter’s very pregnant wife, Mahla – take to the road in south-western Iran’s Khuzestan province en route to the capital, where they plan to enter a battle of the bands. They are fuelled by hope and excitement as much as by petrol, but they only have a day to get there and flash flooding across the country has turned most roads into rivers.
Set almost entirely within the van, the latest film from Manijeh Hekmat (3 Women, MIFF 2008) is a genial, engaging and music-filled trip through a visually breathtaking landscape. The onscreen chemistry between Reza Koolghani, Amir Hossein Taheri and Mahdieh Mousavi is joyfully infectious as they imbue their characters with great warmth and charm, while the people the trio meets along the way present an inspiring picture of collective human resilience. Backed by a terrific soundtrack, Bandar Band is propelled by a dynamic, upbeat energy that underscores the film’s unique insight into life for young Iranians.
“This absurdist road movie takes its viewers on an emotional wave … Bandar Band spins an exquisite fiction on millennial hopefuls.” – Asian Movie Pulse
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