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Dog Sweat (Aragh sagee)


IR AN Director: Hossein Keshavarz


Producers: Hossein Keshavarz, Maryam Azadi, Alan Oxman


Screenwriters: Hossein Keshavarz, Maryam Azadi Cinematographer: Ehsan Karimi


Editors: Mollie Goldstein, Hossein Keshavarz


Cast: Ahmad Akbarzadeh, Tahereh Esfahani, Bagher Forohar, Shahrokh Taslimi, Rahim Zamani


2009/color/90 min.


HOSSEIN KESHAVARZ Hossein Keshavarz began his film career writing screenplays in the bathroom of his workplace. He recently completed his MFA at Columbia University and has had several short films play at such festivals as the Palm Springs International Film Festival. Dog Sweat is his feature film debut.


Hossein Keshavarz makes his directorial debut with Dog Sweat, which depicts the rarely seen but vibrant youth culture of modern-day Tehran.


In this compelling drama, six youths rebel against the strict Islamic rule of the Iranian capital by experimenting with the sex, alcohol and rock ‘n’ roll that mark the status quo for coming of age in the West. Massoud parties until his mother is hit by a car, whereupon the realization that the police are more concerned with controlling sexual behavior than securing public safety arouses his anger. Forough makes a recording of a banned pop song in secret. Homan and Hooshang are gay lovers—until Homan decides to honor his parents’ wish for an arranged marriage. Katie, a feminist, has an affair with her cousin’s husband while spurning the attentions of a more suitable mate. And her brother, Dawood, recently returned from America, begins a relationship with Katie’s best friend—if only they could find a place to be alone together, beyond the grasp of the moral authorities.


Portrayed with tenderness and authenticity by actors who know whereof they act, these protagonists must compromise what they want as individuals in order to comply with societal expectations. While conveying the immediacy of their plight, Keshavarz’s verité style was born of necessity: so high was the risk of persecution that the cast and crew worked under pseudonyms while shooting clandestinely. But all for a good cause: Dog Sweat takes strides in giving us a more complete view of modern life in Iran—and revealing that we have more in common than we think.


—REBECCA CARO


FOCUS ON IRANIAN CINEMA Sponsored by


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CONTEMPORARY WORLD CINEMA


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