As I lethargically paced the confines of my rather stale abode this past weekend, I felt the first wave of cabin fever rush over me like a hot flash on a muggy day.
Pulsating through the canals of my fleshy innards, this unsettled indolence was silently awaiting, and I knew that if I didn’t leave my room quickly, I would basically act out an elaborate montage of scenes from the Evil Dead series, i.e. flesh possessed demons running hysterically about.
Not wanting to become one of the living dead however, I made the executive decision to get out of the house and venture into the real world of downtown San Luis Obispo.
For all you Curious George types out there wondering what this small Central Coast town could possibly throw at my insatiable appetite for excitement, let me sum it up in three glorious words: international film festival. Or at least, that’s where I thought I was headed.
As it happened, I didn’t quite make it to the international film festival that I had anticipated attending per se, but instead stumbled upon a film that was being screened just down the street from the Palm Theatre, at the San Luis Obispo Public Library.
What I soon discovered to be a refreshingly romantic and surprisingly candid Persian film called “Cease Fire” quickly became one of my favorite Persian exports since.well, Persian rugs and tah-digh. Look up the latter because it’s so worth it.
In my opinion, a brilliantly smart comedy from one of Iran’s leading female director’s, “Cease Fire” is to a Persian audience what “Notting Hill” was to an American audience, back in the day. Brought to us by Hope Dance Films, Tahmineh Milani’s hugely comedic portrayal of married life in modern Iran, depicts the good, the bad, and the ugly of newlywed trials and tribulations.
Largely based on the self-help manuals of a local Cambria therapist, Lucia Capacchione, “Cease Fire” examines the struggling marriage of Sayeh and Yousef, an educated and strong-willed couple that are forced to deal with the childish pranks each plays on the other. Fed up and tired of such juvenile antics, Sayeh attempts to find a divorce lawyer, but mistakenly walks into a therapist’s office (Attila Pesyani) who happens to specialize in silencing one’s obnoxious “inner child.”
With cheeky dialogue and unapologetic themes, “Cease Fire” is a hilarious film that obviously slipped through the cracks of the San Luis Obispo International Film Festival. But not to worry, even though this relatively obscure movie is not exactly high profile as of now, it does boast the title of being the highest grossing film in Iranian history. And that right there, says it all.
So, the next time you find yourself losing your mind, or see one of your friends going crazy from not having enough to do one gloomy Saturday evening, be sure to hit up Palm Street, because you never know what international marvels you may stumble upon at the movies.
They may end up saving your life you know, or at least your sanity.
Alexandra Bezdikian is a journalism senior with a minor in religious studies.
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