Paradise Is Somewhere Else review

"'I want to have my own life'," insists Eitek (Yar-Mohammad Damanipour), a teenage shepherd in a remote Iranian village. The life he chases is a dream - to emigrate to the United Arab Emirates - - but the dream looks set to become reality when Eitek finds an adolescent Afghani refugee Gol Mohammad (Jan-Mohammad Tajik) to tend his sheep. But then his father is killed and local custom dictates that Eitek must take revenge on the person responsible...

A shrewdly observed tale from debut director Abdolrasoul Golbon, this economical feature presents its 17-year-old protagonist with a profound ethical dilemma - - to what extent should family loyalties stand in the way of a quest for independence? It's a thorny issue, one of several tackled here, and it's dealt with directly and emotionally. Okay, so there's little here in the way of surprises, but Paradise Is Somewhere Else exhibits a strong sense of place and a glut of sturdy performances.

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