Critical Zone

Like a resigned Virgil, the drug dealer at the centre of Ali Ahmadzadeh’s Critical Zone roams the streets of Teheran at night, guided by the disembodied voice of the only authority still capable of offering direction – the satnav. He brings comfort and drugs to a gallery of lonesome souls, though human connection seems to remain just beyond his grasp. Behind the facade of social realism, the ten distinct episodes, often shot via ingenious and fortuitous means, describe something like an allegorical journey hope, irony and despair mix together at each station, in a film that is itself a precious kernel of resistance.

Ali Ahmadzadeh | IRN-DE 2023 | 99’ | Locarno Film Festival 2023, Black Movie Genève 2024
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Text: PM Cicchetti

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