Ali has recently been released from prison and is now working as a night watchman in Tehran. This factory job now means that he is at least able to support his small family comprising his wife Sara and their daughter, Saba. One day, Ali comes home from work to discover that Sara and Saba have disappeared. Realising that there’s no point in waiting for them any more, Ali decides to go to the police. But there’s chaos at the police station and it takes hours for him to discover anything. Finally, he is informed that his wife was caught up in a shoot-out with demonstrators and was killed. His daughter Saba, however, is still missing.
Ali’s search for his daughter drives him to distraction; he despairs still more, when, in the end, her dead body is discovered. Desperate for revenge he runs amok randomly killing two policemen. After the deed he heads for the woods in the north by car. But the police have long been on his trail; they give chase along a country road until Ali’s car crashes. Ali runs off into the woods to hide among the trees – in vain.
Hassan and Azem, the two policemen who are chasing him, arrest him. Ali seems resigned to his fate and willingly follows the two men, who keep a sharp eye on him. But then, they get lost. All they can see are trees. In such a remote landscape as this, it’s hard to tell the difference between hunters and hunted.
[Synopsis courtesy of the Berlin International Film Festival]