After reading a couple of reviews (on FilmJabber and Afterellen.com) about Circumstance, a recent film by Maryam Keshavarz, I decided to give the film a shot. Circumstance is a drama set in Iran, where gender and sexuality are heavily controlled by the political regime. The film depicts the story of Atafeh and Shireen, two sixteen-year-old friends, whose friendship extends to the sexual and romantic in an environment of underground adventure in contemporary Iran.
The story is also complex due to the differences in the characters. While Atafeh is portrayed as a wealthy, wild adolescent, Shireen is the daughter of two disappeared anti-revolutionary professors. As an orphan, Shireen has been raised by her grandmother and uncle, who are trying to get her engaged.
In their attempt to challenge the regime, and what Atafeh calls at some point “that revolution of yours” (calling out her father who participated in the pre-revolution protests), both girls are shown to engage in heavy underground partying, drinking, drugs, sex, and dubbing “radical” films like Milk and Sex and the City.
Spoiler Alert for what follows.