“A gut punch of a film.” (The Hollywood Reporter)
Iran has spawned one of the most important realist film movements of our time, and German-Iranian filmmaker Behrooz Karamizade delivers a deeply felt addition to that, in this story of star-crossed lovers. Amir loves Narges, but they are at the opposite ends of the economic order. As the sanctions against Iran begin to bite, the poor are the first to be bitten, and Amir finds that his only way of making money is to join a group of fishermen who augment their meagre income through an illegal poaching operation. One character observes that “this country is one dead end after another” but Amir tries desperately to keep his head above water. Widely praised for its absorbing power, Empty Nets is indeed a satisfying catch.
“A piercing, powerful debut.” (Screen International)
“… this is a confidently quiet, elegiac first feature from Iranian-German writer-director Karamizade — who brings a certain European arthouse sheen to a story otherwise steeped in the stark modern tradition of Iranian social realism. It’s a combination that should secure this eminently accessible film a rather full net of further festival berths.” (Variety)
“… delicate and precise filmmaking.” (Cineuropa)
“A gritty slice of neorealism that would have fit in perfectly during the peak period of the Iranian New Wave.” (The Hollywood Reporter)