About Elly/ Darbareye Elly (Asghar Farhadi, Iran, 2009)

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An old proverb, repeatedly refrained in About Elly,  warns that  ‘a bitter ending is better than an endless bitterness’. But is it? That’s one of the questions this lovely, wise and moving film engages us with and explores. In About Elly,  beautiful people are glamorously filmed living through recognizable circumstances in real settings. The drama involves slight events that get out of control and become forcefully dramatic: little lies that unravel and become big dilemmas; people who try to do good but end up doing harm because they insist on getting their own way. Life is hard and Farhardi’s films show us this movingly, beautifully. The way Farhardi so easily convey the beauty in people, even when they don’t act on the purest of motives, is a ravishment; it’s a kind of aesthetic ennoblement of ordinary people that is a delight to the eye and a balm to the soul. With Golshifteh Farahani, Shahab Hosseini, Taraneh Alidoosti, Merila Zare’i.

José Arroyo

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