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Crimson Gold (2003)

Cast: Hossain Emadeddin, Hossain Emadeddin, Kamyar Sheisi, more...
Director: Jafar Panahi, Jafar Panahi
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Rating: Not Rated
Studio: Fox Lorber
Genre: Drama, Foreign, Middle East, Crime, Iran
Running Time: 97 min.
Languages: Persian
Subtitles: English
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This title is currently out of print.

Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold was written by Abbas Kiarostami, who also wrote Panahi's The White Balloon. The film opens in the midst of a jewelry store robbery. In a single shot, a hulk of a man, trapped by the store's security system, shoots the store manager. Moments later, with an excited crowd gathering on the street outside, he turns the gun on himself. The film then flashes back several weeks. Hussein (Hossain Emadeddin) (the robber) is working as a pizza delivery man with his best friend, Ali (Kamyar Sheisi). He's engaged to Ali's sister (Azita Rayeji). Ali finds a woman's purse containing a gold ring, which has been cut, and a receipt for an incredibly expensive Italian necklace. Intrigued by the amount of money changing hands, Hussein and Ali track down the store, but the snooty jeweler (Shahram Vaziri) turns them away. They decide to return to the store wearing suits with Ali's sister, to see if there's anything they can afford. Meanwhile, Hussein does his pizza deliveries. At one point, he tries to make a delivery to a building where the military are arresting young people for drinking alcohol and socializing with the opposite sex. Later, he delivers to a wealthy young man (Pourang Nakhael) who has just moved back to Tehran after living in America for years. The man invites Hussein into his lavish home so he can complain about the trouble he's having adjusting to life in Iran. Hussein's unpleasant experiences eventually push him to the breaking point. Lead actor Emadeddin is a diagnosed schizophrenic and real-life pizza delivery man. Crimson Gold was banned in Iran. It won the Un Certain Regard Jury Prize at the 2003 Cannes Film Festival and was selected for the 2003 New York Film Festival. ~ Josh Ralske, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

A Depressing Dirge by talltale July 22, 2004 - 8:12 AM PDT
6 out of 6 members found this review helpful
Is there a country that makes more depressing movies than Iran? This may sound like a complaint, but it's more of a dirge. Watching films like "The Circle," "Leila," and now CRIMSON GOLD is almost guaranteed to make the viewer shocked, angry and finally overwhelmingly depressed at the little chance the various characters have of any kind of decent life--given the cultural and religious impediments of their country. This latest film, directed by Jafar Panahi ("The Circle" and "The White Balloon" among others) from a script by critical darling Abbas Kiarostami, begins and ends during the heist of a jewelry store. Between comes a fascinating character study of a man and a country--both in dire straits. This relatively slow film builds small, often nasty event upon small, sad event until you understand the protagonist and his horrible decision all too well. No wonder the Iran power brokers immediately banned this movie. They may be impossibly repressive, but they're not dumb (except, of course, in the long run--which few of us will live to experience).

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 7.19)
67 Votes
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Cannes Film Festival & More - 2003
Official Selection, Certain Regards... and more. Here is a bit more information on the films screened at the Cannes. I have attempted to list all the films that were considered for an award as well as any special screenings.
Political Flicks
Movies with politics, mostly good politics...

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