America So Beautiful

As far as I know, this 2001 feature by Babak Shokrina is the only one to deal with the Iranian-American community in Los Angeles, which automatically gives it a certain interest. (The dialogue is split between English and subtitled Farsi, often in the same sentence.) Apart from a brief epilogue set at the time of Reagan?s first inauguration, the story takes place during the Iranian hostage crisis, and the period details, many involving the disco subculture, are pretty convincing. Unfortunately Shokrina's sense of style periodically collapses, and the film falls prey to the worst kind of models; eventually it descends into melodramatic violence (complete with slow motion), and in one lovemaking sequence the music, lighting, and editing suggest a shampoo commercial. 91 min.

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