Crimson Gold

Crimson Gold


Reviewed by: Keith Hennessey Brown

A raid on a Tehran jewelers ends in tragedy when the attacker, Hussein, shoots the store owner, Mr Vaziri, before turning the gun on himself - the whole sequence filmed in a single shot, the camera positioned behind the action then slowly, almost imperceptibly moving forward.

We then backtrack a couple of days to determine the the aetiology of Hussein's fate. He's not a career criminal, just an ordinary decent bloke, made desperate by circumstance. A war veteran with health problems, he ekes out a living as a pizza delivery boy and only wants to get together enough money to buy his fiancee some half-decent wedding jewelery.

Copy picture

Vaziri first refuses to let Hussein and his future brother-in-law enter the store ("Try the lower part of town"), then insults them by suggesting that they would be better buying pieces whose value stemmed more from material than workmanship, since these could more readily be melted down for cash.

Little need be said about Crimson Gold, other than that it is an Iranian film from the people who brought you A Taste Of Cherry and The White Balloon.

Executed in a straightforward, unpretentious manner, with the exception of the attention grabbing opening - perhaps modelled on Antonioni's The Passenger - it resolves itself, as one of the better examples of the type, if a little lacking in originality.

Unobtrusive direction, naturalistic performances and humanist sentiment are de rigeur, along with sequences of guys driving around, as well as, more often than not, impenetrable night-for-night visuals.

If you liked the Iranian films you've seen, you'll probably like Crimson Gold. If you didn't, you won't.

If you haven't seen any, this is a worthwhile introduction.

Reviewed on: 02 Aug 2003
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Anatomy of a murder, Iranian style.
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Angus Wolfe Murray ***

Director: Jafar Panahi

Writer: Jafar Panahi

Starring: Hussein Emadeddin, Kamya Sheissi, Azita Rayeji, Shahram Vaziri, Ehsan Amani, Pourang Nakhayi

Year: 2003

Runtime: 97 minutes

BBFC: 12A - Adult Supervision

Country: Iran

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