Critical Zone

Mantagheye bohrani

Director: Ali Ahmadzadeh
Country: Iran, Germany

German Premiere
2023 | 99 min. | Persian
Subtitles: English, German
FSK | Nicht geprüft / No clearance (18+)

Cast_ Amir Pousti, Shirin Abedinirad, Maryam Sadeghiyan, Alireza Keymanesh Screenplay_ Ali Ahmadzadeh Camera_ Abbas Rahimi Producer_ Sina Ataeian Dena, Ali Ahmadzadeh Rights_ counterintuitive film

Resistance of the night. The big Locarno winner delves into the world of a drug dealer and paints a societal portrait that is harrowing as well as critical of the regime.

Endless tunnel systems and big city highways. Amir is a drug dealer and when he drives with his car into the deep dark night, his journey resembles that of a submarine. Enveloped by deafening pressure, there is a pinging in the air, as if emitted by sonar. A signal of orientation or of location? After all, Amir is navigating the underground. His GPS shows him the way. Like an inner voice, it leads him to people who are falling apart under Iran’s totalitarian theocracy. Resistance comes inside packets and little bags or in the form of brownies. But mostly, it is expressed in quiet, interpersonal gestures. ›Critical Zone‹ is a film that needs only a few words to speak volumes – just like director Ali Ahmadzadeh, who for years has been subjected to censorship and a working ban, yet still persists, pushing forward in his mission to reach out to people.


Ali Ahmadzadeh was born in Tehran in 1986. He first studied architecture, then attended Neinava Music University, and also holds a degree in film directing. ›Critical Zone‹ won the top prize at Locarno, it’s his third feature, following ›Atomic Heart‹ (2015) and ›Kami’s Party‹ (2013).



  • AvailableSunday 19.11.202320:15MannheimMAAtlantis
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