Watching movies allows us to experience many things virtually that might not be reachable in our lives. They offer us a window of opportunity to escape from the routines of everyday life and the norms of society. Throughout movies, you get to experience love, hate, friendship, richness, poorness and many more feelings that add to your understanding of the world, society, and the people around us. We went through 22 must-watch Iranian movies starting from “Bashu, the Little Stranger”, known as the best Iranian movie ever, to “Where’s the Friends House”, from the only Iranian director who has won the Golden Palm in the Cannes Film Festival, Abbas Kiarostami. Now, here we are, with the last part of 33 must-watch Iranian Movies.
23. Under the Skin of the City (Zire Poste Shahr)
Under The Skin Of The City follows one Iranian family in their everlasting struggle to stay afloat financially and emotionally. Touba, the mother of the family, works hard at a textile factory to make ends meet during the day, returning in the evening to face the trials and tribulations of her family including her pregnant daughter who frequently suffers at the hands of her abusive husband, a son embroiled in radical politics, and another son who hopes to escape to Japan. The movie perfectly shows the inner life of working-class families and their forgotten dreams.
This 2001 movie caught a lot of attention from the critics and audience which brought the award of the best movie in the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and The Moscow Film Festival.
24. The Mask (Neghab)
People put on a mask when they are up to no good. This is true about the story of this must-watch movie. The movie begins with an accident. The boy, Kamran, falls in love with the girl, Negar, and they get married. After a while, they start arguing and fighting. However, the truth is more than a simple love story.
Neghab is mostly shot at Dubai, where two best friends, played by Amin Hayaee and Parsa Pirouzfar, own a restaurant. Any further details may spoil the movie for you. You will face the truth in the middle of the movie so I’ll let you enjoy watching this drama mystery.
25. There Are Things You Don’t Know (Chizhaee Hast Ke Nemidani)
The protagonist of the story is a young man, named Ali, who works as a taxi driver from midnight to morning. The reason for this timing is that he is a quiet lonely man who doesn’t want to communicate with other people, however in the process, he encounters a wide variety of people. Finally, one of his passengers gives him enough motivation to act and bring about a change in his life.
This 2010 movie reflects different kinds of people in society. It is one of the distinguishable movies among other Iranian movies because of its different way of telling the story and showing future and past in the most wonderful way. It is worth mentioning that this was the first movie that Fardin Saheb Zamani directed and it caught a lot of attention at Karlovy Vary Film Festival.
26. The Breath (Nafas)
Breath is the story of Bahar, who is living with her father, her siblings, and Grandmother during the 70s. She is living in her childish and surreal world, filled with dreams and fantasies. The movie’s purpose is mostly reflecting the effect of revolution and war on the life and dreams of a very ordinary, but creative, imaginative, and smart little girl. Over the span of several years, Bahar finds daydreaming the only way she can understand the pain and suffering humans inflict on one another.
Making use of simply drawn animation and a realistic shooting and acting style, Narges Abyar, director and writer, conveys a feeling for life in 1977 to the early 1980s, years of the Islamic revolution and the devastating war with Iraq. The movie cleverly shows how big political shifts can ruin the dreams of an entire generation.
Nafas (The Breath) is a movie that you can watch several times because of its dreamy atmosphere mixed with the ugly truth of life and the childish story-telling of Bahar, the beautiful little girl of the movie. You will feel like a little child again and experience how children understand everything around them. In addition, you get to see an important decade of Iran in the eyes of an imaginative kid.
27. Killing Mad Dogs (Sag Koshi)
Golrokh Kamali comes back home after a year of separation from her husband and finds out that he is broke and under a lot of debt. She feels bad because of leaving him and tries to pay all the debt and save his husband who is now in jail. However, Golrokh has no idea that she has stepped into a battlefield which there is no way back.
According to the British Film Institute, “Sag Koshi” was known as one of the best thrillers in the cinema’s history. It has truly a great story that surprises the audience in the end. Directed by the great Bahram Beizai, director of “Bashu, the Little Stranger”, who has proven to be one of the greatest directors of Iran, and the spectacular performance of Mozhdeh Shamsai, who is Beizai’s wife, have all come together to make a thrilling and unforgettable movie.
28.Hassan the Bald (Hassan Kachal)
The very first Iranian musical movie, inspired by Iranian folk tales and directed by the great Ali Hatami. Hassan Kachal was released in 1970 with the best possible cast and crew such as Parviz Sayyad, Katayoun Amir Ebrahimi, and Esfandiar Monfaredzadeh as the composer, who is one of the best Iranian composers. Hassan the Bald is probably the best old musical Iranian movie that you can watch. It has a wonderful atmosphere in the movie and also you get to know one of the most famous Iranian fairy tales.
The tale is about Hassan who is a lazy boy and never leaves the house. One day his mother tricks him to get out of the house. At this staying out of the house, he falls in love with Chelgis, who is imprisoned by an ogre in an enchanted garden. Hassan the bald, which is now madly in love with Chelgis, tries to save her.
29. Fireworks Wednesday (Charshanbe Soori)
The film portrays the life of a turbulent couple, Mozhdeh and Morteza, as they prepare for a vacation to Dubai the morning after Chaharshanbe Suri, a festival held on the night of the last Wednesday of the year. A maid named Rouhi is hired by Morteza to help them clean up and get ready for their trip. However, the real Chaharshanbe Suri is in the house where Mozhdeh suspects the affair of her husband and her neighbor.
The third movie of two times Oscar winner, Asghar Farhadi, is also a masterpiece and like his other movies, it won a number of awards including Fajr Film Festival and Chicago Film Festival. Deborah Young of Variety wrote in her review: “Few Iranian films have tried to realistically depict both the urban middle and lower classes, and fewer still with the complexity of storytelling and depth of characterization in Asghar Farhadi’s impressive third feature, Fireworks Wednesday… The quality of the production is evident in Hossein Jafarian’s fluid cinematography and Hayedeh Safiyari’s nervous editing. The final scenes are a tour de force in which the bonfire-strewn streets fill with merrymakers and the exploding fireworks look as dangerous as a war, an apt metaphor for the everyday violence in the characters’ lives.”
Hedieh Tehrani, Taranaeh Alidoosti, Hamid Farokhnezhad, and Pantea Bahram are the stars of this masterpiece.
30. Mother’s Guest (Mehmane Maman)
A mother of a poor family, played by Golab Adineh, is expecting her nephew and his wife for the evening. However, a simple evening turns to a dinner party with the help of the neighbors.
The story is simple, you may think but the movie is directed by Dariush Mehrjoi who doesn’t know the meaning of simple. In this comedy-drama movie, you will go deep into every dialogue and sequence with the amazing performance of the actors and the struggle of the mother to protect her prestige.
31. Yalda Night (Shab-e Yalda)
Shab-e Yalda (Yalda Night) is a story of love and separation. Hamed lives with his wife and her daughter happily. Out of a sudden, her wife decides to immigrate to Germany with their daughter for a better life. After they leave, Hamed sees himself lost without them, feeling missed for his beloved wife and his daughter. So he isolates himself in the house with the memories he has.
The movie is worth watching not only because it is a good movie but also because of the elegant performance of Muhammad Reza Forutan who engages you with his feeling of love and missing his family. He will make you cry at some point and live everything he is going through. Many people believe that this was the life story of the director, Kiumars Pour Ahmad, however, he never declined or accepted this word. True story or not, Yalda Night is a movie that most people enjoyed watching and it is definitely one of the movies you have to watch and enjoy.
32.M for Mother
At first sight and at the beginning of the movie you will see a beautiful love story but suddenly this love fades away when the happy couple realizes that their unborn baby is likely to born with serious birth defects. This problem comes from the mother’s exposure to chemical weapons during the Iran-Iraq war. However, the conflict arises when the father insists on abortion because he doesn’t want a disabled child but the mother insists on keeping him.
Great performances, emotional scenes, artistic sequences, and nice music are the things you get to see in this 2006 drama. Rasool Mollagholi Poor represents one of the best movies in his lifetime career as same as Golshifteh Farahani who puts a spell on the watchers until the end of the movie.
33. Women are angels
For the last movie, you must watch in this long list of 33 must-watch movies, a comedy has been chosen. The story of a rich woman and a poor man who fall in love might be cliche to you. However, Women Are Angels is an exception.
This comedy is about a rich woman named Leila, played by the one and only Mahtab Keramati, who is madly in love with her husband Farhad, played by Amin Hayaee. As a result of Leila’s richness, Farhad owns an automobile gallery and a lot more. Though one day Leila finds Farhad cheating and that’s when everything changes. Women Are Angels is a movie that you can simply sit back, relax, laugh, and enjoy.
Go through the virtual world of Iranian movies and see how is Iran and its people are shown on the big screen. Hope you enjoy watching each of these 33 must-watch movies.
Isfahan, Isfahan Province, Iran
Pasargad, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran
Dizin Ski Resort, Tehran
Shahdad Kalouts, Shahdad, Kerman Province, Iran
Isfahan Province, Iran