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I'm Taraneh, 15 (Unrated)





Release Date: January 6th, 2006 (NYC-Quad Cinema) by Menemsha Films.
The Cast: Taraneh Alidoosti, Hossein Mahjoub, Mahtab Nasirpour, Milad Sadrameli.
Directed by Rasul Sadrameli.
In Persian with subtitles.

BASIC PREMISE: Fifteen year-old Taraneh (Alidoosti) must face the consequences when she keeps her baby after divorcing Amir (Sadrameli).

ENTERTAINMENT VALUE: At the age of fifteen, Taraneh already has an arranged marriage to a man in his twenties named Amir and ends up carrying his child. The conflict is clear when she refuses to have an abortion. Soon after, she divorces Amir but can barely raise enough money to support her and her child. Sheís too frightened to tell Amirís mother about her baby, so she has not choice but to hide it. The basic plot tension comes from the question of who will Taraneh turn to for financial aide? Her widowed father canít help because heís in jail. Luckily, a kind family friend gives her a little money for basic survival. However, in order to continue surviving, she must receive money from Amirís family and must proveóin courtóthat Amir is the real father. Just when she needs him in court, Amir flees to Germany. This plot never becomes convoluted or confusing, even the third act. Alidoosti gives a riveting and convincing performance as Taraneh. Along with her soft voice, she makes Taraneh into a very likeable character who you truly end up caring about. Writer/director Rasul Sadrameli doesnít try to trick you with contrived plot twists or to thrill you with action scenes. Instead, by focusing the attention on Taranehís very basic struggle to survive, she thrills you with a simple, believable story. The beautifully-written, tender script allows you to easily immerse yourself in the film drenched in reality.

SPIRITUAL VALUE: No fifteen year-old deserves to go through what Taraneh does at such a young age. The harsh reality is that there are young girls in other countries who are forced by their society to marry and must also have abortions if they were to become pregnant. In many ways, Iím Taraneh, 15 awakens you to the cruelties of these societies. At the same time, it reminds you that the decision about abortion should be up to the mother. Taraneh loves life and would be devastated to see it destroyed by a mere operation. She sacrifices her reputation and goes through plenty of mental anguish just to save the life of her precious baby. The final, subtle scene tugs at your heart with all of its might.

INSULT TO YOUR INTELLIGENCE: None.

NUMBER OF TIMES I CHECKED MY WATCH: 0

THE BOTTOM LINE: Beautifully-written and superbly acted! A highly engrossing and moving experience that will awaken you to the harsh realities of the world we live in.

RECOMMENDED WAY TO WATCH: Movie Theater (1st Run)


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