It's Winter review

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Fancy a tough night out? Look no further. Middle-aged Mokhtar (Ashem Abdi), living on the outskirts of Tehran, loses his job in a shop. Leaving behind his young wife Khatoun (Mitra Hajjar) and their daughter, he heads abroad in search of work. Meanwhile, charismatic drifter Marhab (Ali Nicksoulat) pitches up in his old neighbourhood seeking employment and falling for Khatoun, whom according to local rumour, has been widowed...

In many ways It’s Winter is a typical example of Iranian Neo-Realism: writer/ director Rafi Pitts using a mainly non-professional cast and real-life locations, telling an oblique story concerned with the plight of society’s have-nots. The cocksure Marhab is a refreshingly rebellious protagonist and Pitts is unafraid to break the Iranian taboo of representing sexual desire on screen. Shot with painterly precision, it’s an undeniably bleak, brooding work.

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