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The Narrow Red Line

System Administrator Saturday May 4, 2019
The Narrow Red Line
The Narrow Red Line


They are youngsters, these protagonists of The Narrow Red Line - seventeen year-olds – old enough to have the will and the strength to indulge in a range of criminal activities, but young enough to have their minds moulded and transformed in the penitentiary for juveniles where they are housed, and to be lifted towards a more hopeful future. The Narrow Red Line by young director Farzad Khoshdast, was one of the eleven Iranian films competing for the Netpac Award at the Fajr International Film Festival in Tehran this year. The selection included features, documentaries, docu dramas and one animation. In his docu drama, Khoshdast draws us into the world of the penitentiary to show us the young men incarcerated for crimes such as theft, adultery, kidnapping, assault, buggery and murder, and their confessions. Their problems have a multitude of causes – personal, familial and social. A strong theme with a dash of hope, this psycho drama gives us credible characterisation and creates a true-to-life atmosphere, in yes, a grim context, given the cramped detention centre. His actors are volunteering for the roles of young criminals and they must – through workshops – get acquainted with the world of crime and understand the reasons for their confinement. The workshop, conducted by a drama instructor, is intended to provide these young men with drama therapy that will help them overcome their ordeal, help them face the world and move on. It is a ray of hope. After ups and downs, their play is presented to great acclaim at a festival, and is even invited to Germany. The youngsters step out of their prison for the first time. For many, the therapy has proved positive. Some inmates, if not all, leave prison after serving their sentence, some remain behind, while others continue their education through the performing arts.

Interestingly, their rehearsals are as intense as the film itself. Art, here, acts as a liberating force.

NETPAC Jury presenting the award to Farzad Khoshdast
NETPAC Jury presenting the award to Farzad Khoshdast

--Latika Padgaonkar

International Women's Day

We are pleased to bring to you, for the second year, our International Women’s Day screening!

Free online screening | 8th March

IWD theme this year is #ChooseToChallenge. A challenged world is an alert world. From challenge comes change, so let's all choose to challenge - Ubolsyn herself completely embraces the theme!

This year we invite you to a special free online screening of ULBOLSYN from director Adilkhan Yerzhanov. Our sincere thanks to the producers, Guillaume de Seille and Olga Khlasheva, for their generosity and their efforts in facilitating the screening.

Ulbolsyn Source Poffdotee

The film tells the story of a girl named Ulbolsyn (Kazakh for ‘let there be a son’) whose little sister Azhar is kidnapped by the regional mayor’s brother Urgen for marital purposes and taken away to his village. Ulbolsyn wants her sister to be free and to enter her into a foreign university so that she can pursue a future career. As soon as she learns about the incident, Ulbolsyn decides to fight for her sister and face down the patriarchal world of the people living in the Karatas village.

The film is the recipient of the NETPAC Award in Tallinn Black Nights and TRT award in CineLink Sarajevo WIP 2020

Watch MOVIE English | French