Director Masoud Kimiai Iran 1974

130 min., OV with English subs

Followed by a talk with Kaveh Askari

The Deer

(including the alternative ending)

For two consecutive decades and in various Iranian critics' polls, The Deer has been revered as “the best Iranian film ever made”. Known for his rape/revenge drama Gheysar (1969) – which changed the course of Iranian cinema – director Masoud Kimiai adds an explicitly political dimension to the story of his typically defiant characters. Here, in a nod to Hollywood's “buddy film”, the familiar masculine hero of Iranian popular cinema is prompted into social action, far beyond the usual romantic conquests. This is 70s cinema in a nutshell: politically engaged, sincere, angry, tragic.

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Kaveh Askari is an associate professor in the film studies program at Michigan State University and author of Making Movies into Art: Picture Craft from the Magic Lantern to Early Hollywood (BFI, 2014). His second monograph, Relaying Cinema in Midcentury Iran, is forthcoming from the University of California Press.