Asghar Farhadi’s latest, which won both Best Screenplay (for Farhadi) and Best Actor (Shahab Hosseini) when it premiered at Cannes in May, is due in U.S. theaters early next year.
“Rather than proposing solutions or envisioning a tight happy ending, ‘Sand Storm’ lingers in the crevices of a fascinating cultural challenge.” —Eric Kohn
“Following two very different paths of mourning as they wend in strange directions before ultimately knotting together in the same place, ‘One Week and a Day’ is a sweet and subdued look at the absurdity of life after death.” —David Ehrlich
“Though it ultimately falls back on the usual pileup of scare tactics — floating things, gooey things, sudden forms emerging from the shadows — Anvari uses this toolbox in a pointed fashion. ‘Under the Shadow’ smartly observes the emotions stirred up by a world defined by restrictions, and the terrifying possibility that they might be inescapable.” —EK
“The romantic-comedy has come a long way since the days of Nora Ephron. In the U.S. they’re mostly considered cliche and void of any real substance, though that doesn’t stop people from seeing them. But in a country like, say Saudi Arabia, the rom-com is practically revolutionary.” —Jake Spencer
The title of Behnam Behzadi’s Tehran-set drama, which premiered at Cannes earlier this year, refers to the density of pollution in the Iranian city’s atmosphere; a similar tension exists in the life of Behzadi’s heroine.
Iranian writer/director Mani Haghighi mixes genres to great effect in his strange whatsit, whose pleasing oddity is only hinted at in its attention-grabbing title.
Erin Kolirin’s third film is also his best, taking a probing look at what it’s like — and, more to the point, what it means — to be Israeli in 2016.
Moving from set designing to directing, Maha Haj has absorbed the lessons of former collaborators like Elia Suleiman in crafting his impressive debut feature.
Set entirely in a police van during a riot, Mohamed Diab’s follow-up to “Cairo 678” is an engrossing, tense experience.