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Circumstance

Year: 2011
Production Co: Marakesh Film
Director: Marayam Keshavarz
Writer: Marayam Keshavarz
Cast: Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy

Forbidden lesbian love has a proud history in cinema after Room In Rome, Show Me Love, Kissing Jessica Stein and I Can't Think Straight, and it gets a lot less attention than the male equivalent seems to (maybe just because Brokeback Mountain had global stars in it).

Atefah (Boosheri) and Shireen (Kazemy) are best friends in modern Iran, a country with some freedoms (particularly if you're wealthy) but with an air of threat in the background.

Atefah's parents are educated and liberal and expect her to be the same now she's coming of age. They tolerate her closeness with school friend Shireen but Atefha and Shireen realise they're in love and it becomes too close for comfort for everybody. They not only have to snatch snippets of time to be together, they have to stay one step ahead of the morality police.

To make matters worse, Atefah's former drug addict brother has come home and is seduced by radical Islam, becoming a morality crusader and spying on the members of his family, hatching a plot to marry Shireen to doom her relationship with Atefah.

You'll wish it had a happier ending, but it's the journey towards self-awareness, the sacrifices we make and the ones we're too scared to make that matter. Both young leads are beautiful and the scenes of privilege and wealth in Iranian life are gorgeous.

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