Jafar Panahi's new movie, Offside captures the passion of the global game and the hold it has on the Iranian public, both men and women. The backdrop is the Iran vs Bahrain qualifying match for the 2006 World Cup. A group of women try to sneak into the stadium defying a law that bans women from watching live soccer matches.
Panahi's decision to make this film was inspired by his own personal experience with the law.
" Also, four years ago I was living near the stadium where our football team trains. I wanted to go and watch and my daughter wanted to come with me. I tried to explain to her that she couldn't, but she nevertheless wanted to try. So we set out with the entire family, that way if my daughter was refused entry, my wife could take her back home. We went to the stadium entrance and, as I had expected, my daughter was refused entry. I told her to go home with her mother, but she found another way of getting into the stalls and to my surprise, she joined me. This event also inspired my thoughts about the film, which I tucked away in a corner of my mind. When I realized Iran once again had a chance at being selected for the World Cup, I decided the time was right to do this film. "
Panahi's Offside opened in the US this March. New Yorkers can get a chance to see this wonderful film at the Quad Cinemas.
Offside synopsis and Jafar Panahi's thoughts on the movie >>