I Am Taraneh, 15 | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

I Am Taraneh, 15 

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The women's pictures of 1930s Hollywood carried an emotional wallop partly because they took place in an era of social and economic tumult, which may explain the power of this Iranian feature by Rasoul Sadr Ameli (The Girl in the Sneakers). The title character, a teenage schoolgirl whose widowed father is a political prisoner, marries a neighborhood boy from a good family, but his lack of ambition and responsibility quickly drives them to divorce. Later she discovers that she's pregnant and decides to keep the baby despite the stigma of being a single mother, which is aggravated by her former mother-in-law's insinuations. The script can be simplistic, piling one dilemma atop another to demonstrate the girl's resolve and using her conversations with her father to chart her growing maturity, but it's saved from bathos by Taraneh Alidousti's performance as the virtuous, wide-eyed girl. In Farsi with subtitles. 110 min. A 35-millimeter print will be shown. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, Saturday, October 5, 8:00, and Sunday, October 6, 4:00, 312-846-2800.

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