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(Araghe Sard)
Iran (2018) 1hr 28mins minutes.
Directors/writers: Soheil Beiraghi
Cast: Baran Kosari (Afrooz), Amir Jadidi (Yasser), Leili Rashidi (Pantea), Hoda Zeinolabedin (Masi)

Screening 3 November 2021 at Swindon Arts Centre


Afrooz had devoted 11 years of her life to playing football. She is captain of Iran's female, national team which is headed for the final of the Asian Nations Cup in Malaysia. Except that her estranged husband, Yasser, from whom she has been separated for six years, exercises his legal right to deny her permission to leave the country. Afrooz then embarks on a campaign to challenge traditional values, not least to save her footballing career.


Permission film screenshot

"For a film about a footballer, this has remarkably little football in it, but joyful scenes at the start with the team echo throughout, reminding us of what has been lost. Beyond her love of the game itself and her commitment to her country's success, Afrooz's identity is at stake. .... As her anger gradually shades into grief and despair, there is a sense of tremendous loss. Beiraghi shoots her in small spaces, hems her in with people or objects, emphasises the claustrophobia of her situation. Alireza Alavian creates a soundscape that subtly implies the world is shrinking around her".

Jennie Kermode, Eye for Film

Permission ... is perhaps inspired at some level by Jafar Panahi's Offside (2006) about Iranian girls disguising themselves as boys to sneak into a football match (where women are forbidden) and the influence of Asghar Farhadi’s A Separation (2011) is detectable in an extended, acrimonious divorce hearing scene ...

... There is a cool, austere restraint to Beiraghi’s style, a habitual feature of Iranian cinema ...

Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

Film Facts

  • Permission is based on the real case of Niloufar Ardalan, a star player in one of Iran's top football teams. In 2015 she was unable to attend an important tournament in Malaysia when her husband refused to sign the form required to renew her passport.
  • Baran Kosari is the daughter of director Rakhshan Bani Etemad and film producer Jahangir Kosari widely considered a premier female director in Iran.