20 Fingers ★★★★

This is the debut from director Mania Akbari, who played in Abbas Kiarostami's 10. She presents a number of vignettes in which a man and a woman (husband and wife?) are discussing a number of topics related to marriage, having children, the freedom of women, making choices, etc. The discussions are very intense, as we are used to from Iranian cinema. They get so intense at times that they almost become visceral. The shooting style is documentary-like, and in typical Iranian fashion the borders between documentary and real life are entirely blurred. It certainly feels as if we are witnessing real-life discussions between a woman who wants to take her freedom and a man who would like to grant it to her but is too entrapped in the meshes of a traditional society to be able to do that. The film's direction is wonderful, and we can expect a lot from this young director. The film is dedicated to Abbas Kiarostami and with good reason as Mania Akbari emphatically tries to follow in the footsteps of the master. Highly recommended to all who know what to expect from Iranian cinema.