Avalanche | Chicago Reader

Avalanche

87 minutes 2015

A middle-aged nurse (Fatemah Motamed-Aria) agrees to take the night shift at her hospital to care for a colleague's dying mother just as a historic ten-day snowfall commences. Daytime insomnia and disruptions to her routine—her husband letting loose in her absence as if he were a bachelor again, her son parking his dog on their balcony, a new neighbor waking her with piano playing—drive her into a vortex of discontent. This second feature (2015) by Iranian director Morteza Farshbaf continues the exploration of secrets, dissatisfaction, and grief he began with his debut film, Mourning (2011), but these concerns are too obviously underlined by his self-consciously arty images and the symbolism of an impending avalanche. The character's underlying malaise is a byproduct of aging and the compromises and deceptions of most long-term relationships, but the superficial resolution betrays the depths of emotion Farshbaf has developed up to that point. In Persian with subtitles.

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