Dog Sweat | Chicago Reader

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Rated NR · 90 minutes · 2009

Like Jia Zhang-ke's Unknown Pleasures and the recent documentary Burma VJ, this Iranian drama was shot on video clandestinely because national review boards would never allow a studio to produce it. As such, the astonishing content often overwhelms the storytelling, which is plenty accomplished in its own right. The intersecting stories, credited to Maryam Azadi and director Hossein Keshavarz, mainly concern illegal activity among the upper-middle-class: a twenty-something woman carries on an affair with her cousin’s husband, one of her girlfriends wants to record pop music, and several male friends go to great lengths to score alcohol. (Apparently "dog sweat" is slang for booze in Tehran.) Keshavarz employs a loose, hand-held style that occasionally recalls U.S. independents like Joe Swanberg and Andrew Bujalski, but what seems merely informal in their work takes on a furtive urgency here.
Director: Hossein Keshavarz
Producer: Hossein Keshavarz, Alan Oxman and Maryam Arzadi
Cast: Ahmad Akbarzadeh, Tahereh Esfahani, Bagher Forohar, Shahrokh Taslimi and Rahim Zamani

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