Iran, France, Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, 2019
89 minutes, Color
Maryam is a young woman who has been sentenced to death for murdering her husband, Nasser. Iranian law allows the victim's family to forgive her and spare her life, so Maryam's fate will be decided by Nasser's daughter, Mona, on the country's most popular televised reality show. In front of millions of viewers during Yalda, the winter solstice celebration, Maryam and Mona discover that forgiveness can be difficult as they relive the past. Filmmaker Massoud Bahkshi brings aesthetic energy and dramatic intensity to a story that unfolds over a few hours and almost entirely within the studio. Although Maryam and Mona are condemned in some way and subject to Iran's profound patriarchy, they find agency, moral authority, and freedom within those confines. Yalda, a Night for Forgiveness sheds light on Iran's vibrant, modern identity alongside its deeply traditional culture.—Sundance Film Festival
In Farsi with English subtitles
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