Navel | Chicago Reader

Navel

Five Iranians share a cramped Tehran apartment in this low-budget 2004 video drama, shot mostly after dark with night vision that renders the characters as ghostly apparitions with glowing eyes. Writer-director Mohammad Shirvani keeps the narrative to a bare minimum, allowing the characters to reveal themselves as their daily routines are recorded, usually by the middle-aged Mani. Oldest of the five and owner of the apartment, he displays an aggressive if affable sense of entitlement as he tracks his cohorts: an expatriate woman visiting from New York, an Iranian Turk who was once an Islamic cleric, a divorced father mostly seen visiting with his young son, and a country boy completing his military duty. In Farsi with subtitles. 83 min.

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