Drama   France,Iran,United States of America

"Circumstance" is a 2011 Iranian-American drama film directed by Maryam Keshavarz. Set in contemporary Tehran, the movie explores the lives of two best friends, Atafeh and Shireen, who navigate their way through the oppressive social and political climate of Iran.

Atafeh and Shireen both come from wealthy and influential families. Atafeh's parents are supportive and open-minded, while Shireen lives with her conservative uncle, as her parents died due to political activities against the Iranian government. The film focuses on their struggles with personal identity and the restrictions imposed by their society.

As teenagers, Atafeh and Shireen share a close bond and are rebellious in their own ways. Atafeh, however, starts discovering her own desires and sexuality, which leads to her engaging in a secret relationship with a young man named Mehran. Meanwhile, Shireen develops an interest in underground parties and rebellion against the regime, which leads her to explore her own limits.

While Atafeh and Shireen's rebellions take different forms, both ultimately risk bringing unwanted attention and potential danger to their lives. Atafeh's relationship with Mehran becomes increasingly risky as their intimacy progresses, especially considering the strict surveillance by the Iranian government. Meanwhile, Shireen's involvement in illicit activities, including drinking and partying, puts her in constant danger of being caught and persecuted.

Adding to the complexity of the story, Atafeh's older brother, Mehran, returns from drug rehabilitation as a deeply conservative Muslim, embracing the regime's ideology and becoming increasingly controlling and suspicious of his sister's behavior. Mehran finds himself caught between his newfound faith and his desire to protect his sister from a society he sees as corrupt.

As the film progresses, the tensions increase as Atafeh's sexual rebellion clashes with her brother's increasingly dogmatic behavior, leading to a climactic moment in which their paths collide. The film ultimately culminates in a series of events that force the characters to confront the reality of their oppressive society and the consequences of their choices.

"Circumstance" portrays a nuanced portrayal of the struggle between personal freedoms and conforming to societal and religious expectations in contemporary Iran. Through the protagonists' journeys, the film explores themes of sexuality, rebellion, familial bonds, and the harsh realities faced by many young Iranians seeking to express themselves in a repressive environment.
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