Cleveland International Film Festival } April 7 – April 20, 2021

UNDER THE MOONLIGHT
(Zir-e Nour-e Mah)

 

Year: 2001
Country: Iran
Run Time: 96 minutes

All that stands between seminarian Seyyed Hassan, devout student of the Koran from the countryside, and his upcoming ordination as an Iranian mullah is the clerical garments he must wear at the consecration ceremony in the city. He purchases the vestments, only to see them stolen by a street urchin the moment he steps out of the bazaar. Seyyed follows the thief himself to the outskirts of town, and discovers that the culprit is a boy called Chick. But Seyyed finds along with the guilty party a subculture of street people ? prostitutes, musicians, carnival performers and poets ? dwelling under a concrete freeway overpass. These social outcasts have never met a cleric and know nothing of Seyyed's vocation and values. This is just the chance the would-be mullah wants. Seyyed tries to get to know Chick and the boy's mini-community of underworld denizens, to improve their lives and bring them back to the mosque. But things are not that simple, and the sheltered seminarian is about to get an urban education he will never forget. If you thought the day would be long-in-coming when you could accept a Muslim holy man as a screen hero, think again. In contrast to the September 11 nightmare images of Islam as a sect of fundamentalist violence and terror, UNDER THE MOONLIGHT depicts a religion capable of recognizing and changing to reflect reality. Its presence (as with the documentary A THOUSAND AND ONE VOICES) confirms the CIFF's mission of fostering tolerance and understanding through global cinema. (In Farsi with English subtitles)

Screenplay
Reza Mir-Karimi

Director
Reza Mir-Karimi

Producer
Manouchehr Mohammadi

Cinematography
Hamid Khozouee-Abyaneh

Editing
Nazanin Mofakham

Principal Cast
Hossein Parastar, Hamed Rajabali, Mehran Rajabi, Mahmoud Nazaralian

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