An executioner is ordered to kill three people in a small town. After killing the first two, a local cleric tells him to stop. He believes that killing the third, a young woman, will send her soul to heaven. He therefore tells the executioner to marry so she is no longer a virgin when she dies and will not go to heaven. The executioner begins to doubt his faith.
Shot just three miles from the Afghan border, this is a film of rare courage and power from Babak Payami, who exposes the folly of a man's chauvinistic fundamentalism through his interaction with a woman whom he initially considers beneath him. Any deficiencies in the visual quality should be forgiven, as we're lucky to even see this video-copied version of the story after the Iranian authorities confiscated the original 35mm negative.
The opening 360-degree sequence ù in which executioner Kamal Naroui is ordered to marry and deflower prisoner Maryam Moqadam to stop her soul going to heaven, is masterly both in its technique and establishing the doubt that will force this peasant to question everything he has been duped into believing by his manipulative master. A tough watch, but indelibly provocative.
Not easy viewing, but thought provoking and worthwhile