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My Tehran for Sale Actress Gets 90 lashes
The film is an award winner of foreign made films. Iranian films are generally quite good and many have received international awards. My Tehran for Sale is not different. It explores the dual lives of the younger generation, those 30 million between 15-35 that embrace freedom and Western values to some extent.
The lead actress is Marzieh Vafamehr who plays a modern Iranian in her twenties. She continually is fighting the oppressive Iranian regime edicts and rules in her daily life and the secret lives before close doors where all Iranians find the only real freedom. Sometimes, she attends to secret parties where loud Western rock is being played, women are scantily dressed and they dance across the floor without the "secret police". They talk and drink openly about their dilemma and many like her, decide to find a way out through smuggling.
My Tehran for Sale has a cunning multi-layered yet non-judgmental approach in addressing a number of issues like underground life of young people, women oppression, HIV issue, secret abortions, underground art as well as immigration and crisis of identity, people smuggling. The movie goes far beyond the norms of Iranian mainstream cinema and sneaked into the blurred reality of the lives of many forced underground or exiled which has never portrayed before in Iranian cinema making.
The film was released in 2010 and immediately banned in Iran. In 2011, the main actress was arrested for not wearing a headscarf in many scenes and saving off her hair and later sentenced to 90 lashes as punishment and banned from acting in Iran, where she still is. IMDB rates it 7 out of 10 stars.