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Tuesday, March 04, 2014
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When American basketball player Kevin Sheppard accepts a job to play in one of the world's most feared countries - Iran - he expects the worst. But what he finds is a country brimming with generosity, acceptance, and sensuality. With a charismatic personality that charms everyone he meets, Kevin forms an unlikely friendship with three outspoken Iranian women who share with him their strong opinions on everything, from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin's season in Iran eventually culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran's reformist Green Movement - a powerful prelude to the sweeping changes currently unfolding across the Middle East in the wake of the Arab Spring.
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Paul Allaer - Customer Review
"The Iran Job" (2012 release; 95 min.) is a documentary that brings us the story of Kevin Sheppard, a US basketball player who didn't make it into the NBA but did find a career as a "journey man" (his own words) in foreign basketball leagues. In the Fall of 2008, he is signed by a team in the Iranian Super League and off he goes for a full season of basketball in Iran. The team he plays for is A.S. Shiraz, a city of about 1.5 million people. Sheppard moves into an apartment with another foreign player on the team, a guy from Serbia. The team has just achieved promotion into the Super League and no first year Super League team has ever made the play-offs. Will Sheppard be able to lead them into the play-offs? The other part of the movie is even more compelling, as we get a glimpse of the ordinary lives of ordinary people in a large city in Iran. Sheppard befriends many locals, including several woman (in the platonic sense, of course, as we are reminded that "kissing is illegal in Iran"). As the movie plays out, we get snippets from the then US presidential campaign and eventual swearing in of Obama (and how ordinary Iranians react to that), and in a parallel track in early '09 Iran is gearing up for its own presidential elections. Several comments: kudos to writer-director-photographer Till Schauder, who basically moved with Sheppard to Iran and followed Sheppard around day in and day out for the entire season. The end result, showing that ordinary people in Iran live and breathe and support their basketball team and get upset about things just like we do, is nothing short of extraordinary. In that sense, this movie is far more political than it is a sports documentary, and it brings to mind of course that 2012 documentary from Jafar Panahi called "This Is Not A Film", another must-see about life in Iran. As if it wasn't clear yet, "The Iran Job" is HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Jeff in Seattle - Customer Review
More than just a sports documetary. It's an insight to Iranian culture and the effects of Iranian politics on the masses. Quick! Hide the women! Someone's knocking on the door!
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