A dream-like trip through the Tehran underworld with an enigmatic drug dealer who heals troubled souls.
Locarno Golden Leopard winner, Critical Zone takes the poetic minimalism of Abbas Kiarostami and refracts it through a psychedelic lens to capture Tehran’s seedy nocturnal underbelly. Amir is a drug dealer with the vibe of a fallen prophet. He aimlessly drives around the Iranian capital, listening to the patter of his GPS, getting high, dispensing drugs and wisdom. Over a one-night odyssey we meet a collection of Amir’s shiftless clients as he endeavours to meet their desires to literally and metaphorically escape the futureless city. Filled with non-actors and a renegade spirit, Critical Zone is a paradox of verisimilitude and shimmering mirage.
“Falling somewhere between The Big Lebowski and A Clockwork Orange, Critical Zone depicts the torments of those who no longer believe – but are unable to admit it out loud – in what’s around them, whether politics, religion or the moral leadership which seeks to suffocate people’s innermost instincts and desires.” (Cineuropa)
“A subversive trip.” (The Hollywood Reporter)