Roya is a resourceful young woman who is juggling with loans to pay back a large debt. With her gift of the gab and her determination to fight her way out, she finds herself at the top of a small ponzi scheme that promises to be lucrative, but very soon the mechanism seizes up and a sense of control gives way to anxiety.
With a sense of narrative sequencing akin to his senior, Jafar Panahi (The Circle, Blood and Gold), Mahmoud Ghaffari portrays a protagonist hemmed in by a double straightjacket, one where social and gender inequality are inextricably intertwined. His character is neither a heroine nor the passive victim of a crushing system but warrior-like yet evanescent. Arguably, this determination, which draws its energy from despair, can be seen as an obligation incumbent on any filmmaker practising their art in today’s Iran: the obligation to fight up to the point where one’s very absence leaves a void full of meaning. CG