Svitlana Tuchynska

Five must-see Iranian movies

Five must-see Iranian movies
Categories: Asia

Iran is not only home to one of the oldest civilizations in the world, but also a place where great movies are made. The most recent case is "The salesman" by Asghar Farhadi which won the Academy Award for best foreign language film of 2016. 

The truth is, Iranian movies regularly pull in prestigious international awards. We have gathered five of the most prominent ones, that everybody absolutely must watch. 

A Separation

The first triumph of director Asgar Farhadi, this film has collected a whole bunch of prestigious awards, including the Academy Award in 2012 and the Golden Bear of the Berlin International Film Festival. 

The plot is based on the family drama of the Tehran couple. Simin decides to emigrate to America with her daughter, and files for divorce from her husband who wants to stay in Iran. She hires a sitter, a woman from the poor family, to take care of her sick father-in-law. The story of two very different Iranian families is then weaving into a real drama.


Dissident director Jafar Panahi is banned from filming in Iran because of his criticism of the government. But the resourceful man continues to shoot. he made one of his movies in his own house and called another one "This is not a movie". 

His latest work - "Taxi", also known as "Taxi Teheran", was shot in a car driven by him. Different people use Panahi's taxi, sharing their joys and sorrows with the driver. It's amazing how much you can learn about the country without leaving one car!

The color of paradise

A stunningly beautiful film directed by Majid Majidi. The story follows Muhammad, a blind boy, reluctantly taken by his father home to the village for the summer break. Recently widowed father is getting ready to marry again and is hiding his blind son out of fear that the bride will change her mind. However, further events completely ruin his plans.


Another masterpiece by Majid Majidi, this film is a heart breaking tale of refugees from Afghanistan in Iran. A group of illegal Afghan men comes to work at the construction site in Tehran's suburb. Soon the main character - Latif accidentally learns that one of the workers is a disguised young girl.

During the police raid, she escapes with other illegals. Latif goes to look for her in the village of Afghans. Interestingly, the film is almost silent. For example the main heroine Baran does not say a word throughout the film.

About Elly

Asgar Farhadi is everywhere! Here is his psychological drama made in 2009. A group of former classmates go on vacation at sea with their families. One of the women invites a friend, Elly, whom she plans to introduce to her classmate who has just returned from Germany. All goes well until Elly disappears under mysterious circumstances during an accident at sea.