Another week, another early Asghar Farhadi film gets restored and finally comes to North America. Following last week’s release of his 2003 drama Dancing in the Dust, Film Movement Classics will now release the Oscar-winning Iranian director’s second feature Beautiful City in a new 2K restoration approved by Farhadi. Led by Taraneh Alidoosti––who would go on to work with the director in Fireworks Wednesday, About Elly, and The Salesman––the 2004 drama will be released digitally on October 13 and we’re pleased to exclusively deubt the new trailer.
Here’s the full synopsis: “After spending two years in juvenile detention for killing his girlfriend as a teenager, the troubled, young Akbar is transferred to an adult facility shortly after turning 18. No longer a minor, his death sentence will soon be legally carried out. Meanwhile outside, Ala — Akbar’s friend and newly paroled petty thief — along with Akbar’s sister Firoozeh (played by Taraneh Alidoosti, in the first of her three collaborations with director Farhadi) set out to convince the victim’s bereaved father to forgive Akbar, which could potentially reduce his sentence from death to life in prison. Navigating the complexities of Iran’s judicial system together, the two form a close bond in their desperate attempts to seek clemency before it is too late. A “well-acted [and] compelling human drama,” (The Hollywood Reporter), BEAUTIFUL CITY is now presented in a new 2K restoration approved by the director.”
Film Movement Classics has carried out the restoration and will release the film digitally on October 13 following last month’s release of Farhadi’s 2003 drama “Dancing in the Dust,” ISNA reported.
The film synopsis reads: “After spending two years in juvenile detention for killing his girlfriend as a teenager, the troubled young Akbar is transferred to an adult facility shortly after turning 18. No longer a minor, his death sentence will soon be legally carried out. Meanwhile outside, Ala - Akbar’s friend and newly paroled petty thief - along with Akbar’s sister Firoozeh set out to convince the victim’s bereaved father to forgive Akbar, which could potentially reduce his sentence from death to life in prison. The two form a close bond in their desperate attempts to seek clemency before it is too late.
The 101-minute film is a story of forgiveness, revenge, and salvation. “Beautiful City” thoughtfully peels back the layers of each character’s motivations, only to pierce through to the most honest and irrational motivation of them all: love.
The film captured the Grand Prix at the Warsaw International Film Festival, and Golden Peacock for the best film at the 35th International Film Festival of India in 2004. It also son FIPRESCI Prize at Split Film Festival in 2005.
Taraneh Alidoosti, Faramarz Gharibian, Babak Ansari, Hossein Farzizadeh, Ahu Kheradmand, and Farhad Ghaemian are the cast.
Farhadi, 51, is considered one of the most prominent filmmakers of Iranian cinema as well as world cinema in the 21st century. His films have gained fame for their focus on the human condition, and portrayals intimate and challenging stories of internal family conflicts.
The strength of Farhadi’s directing and screenwriting is well acclaimed and known to all and his prizes in these categories are indeed undeniable proof of this claim. Moreover, actors playing in his films present their best performance; this is partly due to their great abilities and also the skills in Farhadi in eliciting and encouraging those potentials.
At the beginning of his career, he made several 8mm and 16mm films for the Iranian Youth Cinema Society and subsequently wrote screenplays for Iranian television and also directed many popular TV series including “A Tale of a City.”
“Dancing in the Dust,” his first feature film, received multiple awards at the Fajr Film Festival and played international festivals around the world. “Beautiful City,” his second film, became the launching point for his filmmaking career.
His other acclaimed films include “A Separation” (winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival for Best Director), “The Salesman” (winner of Best Actor and Best Screenplay at Cannes 2016), and “A Hero” (winner of the Grand Prix at Cannes 2021).
After receiving two Best Foreign Language Film Academy Awards for “A Separation” and “The Salesman,” Asghar Farhadi became one of the only directors to have ever won twice in that category.
Founded in 2002, Film Movement is a North American distributor of award-winning independent and foreign films based in New York City. It has released more than 250 feature films and shorts culled from prestigious film festivals worldwide.
In 2015, Film Movement launched its reissue label Film Movement Classics, featuring new restorations released theatrically as well as on Blu-ray and DVD, including films by such noted directors as Ang Lee, Eric Rohmer, Luchino Visconti, Stanley Kwan, Peter Greenaway, Bille August, Marleen Gorris, Takeshi Kitano, Arturo Ripstein, King Hu, Sergio Corbucci and Ettore Scola.