Plot: Following up on last year's Festival favourite Gilaneh, directors Rakhshan Bani-Etemad and Mohsen Abdolvahab turn their attention to the problem of drug abuse in their native Iran. Their latest film, Mainline, is an astounding dramatization of one middle-class young woman's desperate struggle against the downward spiral that is drug addiction.
Sara (Baran Kosari) is a bride-to-be who is struggling with her heroin addiction, which always seems to overpower her no matter how hard she fights. While her fiancé is studying overseas, she has a relapse. Faced with his imminent return - and, of course, the big wedding - Sara and her mother, Sima (Bita Farahi), head for the countryside, seeking out a drug rehabilitation centre in a last-ditch effort to get the monkey off her back and stay clean for good.
Bani-Etemad and Abdolvahab draw the connection between Sara's situation and the feelings of alienation among the young (those under thirty make up more than seventy per cent of the population). The filmmakers work in the neo-realist tradition, using hand-held cameras to represent the realities of Iran today as faithfully as possible. Bani-Etemad based this film on a vast quantity of her own research, which led to a 1995 documentary warning of the escalating drug crisis. Ten years on,
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