Arriving in Greece, Iranian parents Pari (Melika Foroutan) and Farrokh (Shahbaz Noshir) expect to meet their son Babak at the airport. However, as the hours tick by and he still does not come, they finally venture into town only to discover that he may not be the boy they thought he was.

…a truly absorbing and dramatic festival discovery played out in a foreign land.

Starting out with what seems like a stereotypically abusive relationship, writer/director Siamak Etemadi expertly strips away their conventions as both parents become more concerned. Navigating the gruff insistences of her ‘benefactor husband’ as played by Shahbaz Noshir, Melika Foroutan credibly channels Pari’s concern throughout as the emotional stakes increase.

Yet, as Pari commits herself deeper and deeper to what seems an increasingly hopeless cause, Siamak Etemadi’s film touches upon the ‘temptations’ and ‘threats’ faced by Iranians studying abroad. With many of them selling either their bodies or souls (by converting to Christianity), it becomes clearer that Babak has left on a path that was never meant to be followed.

Seen through her eyes, ‘Pari’ is an arresting drama that reveals its true depths as we follow the lengths a mother will go to retrieve her son. With grazing references to ‘Missing‘ and ‘Breaking The Waves‘ this is also one drama that is unafraid to touch upon Iran’s dominant male culture or religiously-infused sense of honour. 

Charting its own course through a challenging series of events and chance encounters, ‘Pari’ becomes a truly absorbing and dramatic festival discovery played out in a foreign land. 

See it while you can.


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