Navel provides a unique and refreshing perspective for western viewers on underground Iranian cinema. At first sight, it is a collection of home video filmed anecdotes about four men and a woman who share an apartment in Teheran. Under these loosely structured fragments, a story is hidden about the social and emotional complications of these five people in particular, and about people's desires and their inability to approach each other in general. The aging cynic Mani rents the rooms in his apartment to four people. He continuously films his life and theirs with his video camera. Chista, the only woman in the apartment, is back in Teheran to look for her ex after living for years in New York. Khosro is a divorced, handsome man in his thirties, whose son sometimes drops by. Reza is a young Iranian Turk who has stopped working as an Islamic cleric for unknown reasons. Finally, Aboozar is the nephew of Mani. He is in Teheran to complete his military service. In an almost continually nocturnal Teheran, the actors regularly pick up Mani's camera. The night vision green close ups evoke a mysterious, isolated mood. Other scenes are filmed in grainy sepia. The vicissitudes filmed are fictional, but are close to the real life of the actors: they created the characters based on their own experiences and characteristics.

Original title
Nahf
Filmmaker
Mohammad Shirvani
Premiere
World premiere
Country
Iran
Year
2004
Medium
DV cam PAL
Length
85’
Language
Farsi
Producer
Hoshang Khobbakht, Mohammad Shirvani
Sales
Robert Richter
Cinematography
Mohammad Shirvani
Editor
Mohammad Shirvani
Cast
Mana Rabiee