Border Cafe | Chicago Reader

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Iranian director Kambozia Partovi—celebrated screenwriter of The Circle, Deserted Station, and I Am Taraneh, 15—creates a feminist heroine in a less tragic mold in this story of a widow determined to survive on her own. Local custom demands that the recently bereaved Reyhan (Fereshtei Sadre Orafaei) marry her brother-in-law; having no desire to become his second wife, she resists the pressure and reopens the cafe she ran with her husband. Taking in strays and cooking her heart out, she soon attracts a devoted international trucker clientele, stealing business away from her enamored in-law in the process. A well-observed script, faultlessly nuanced acting, and a sharply delineated sociopolitical sense make this film as enjoyable as it is intelligent. In Greek, Farsi, and Turkish with subtitles. 111 min.

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