A stark, portrait of life under the restrictive, Islamic regime in Tehran, Iran, Ali Soozandeh's Tehran Taboo is an intersectional ensemble detailing the search for liberty, agency, and happiness in a society rooted in cultural and moral oppression through state censorship. Detailing the lives of young individuals looking to make their way in the world, Tehran Taboo is an impressionistic portrait of life without promise, as the film exhibits a world with little future for many of its young protagonists, characters who are stuck in their tracks due to oppressive nature of government policies that restrict personal liberty and freedom. A place with no future for many of these individuals, Tehran Taboo is a vivid reminder of the importance of individual liberty in any meaningful society, showing through its characters how a prosperous culture is predicated on the mobility of its citizenry, something which is not allocated in this society. Moral police, decency codes, and censorship are used by the state to restrict and control the populace, as Tehran Taboo is a startling reminder to the West of the paramount importance of individual liberty; something which should never be controlled or mandated by any central authority or power structure, such as the state. For the female characters of this story, there is no future for them as individuals in this society; they find their whole existence predicated on the wills of the men in their life, as the laws and various "decency codes" restrict female agency, making these woman effectively property to their male counterparts. A story with no happy endings, the only female character to find some semblance or power or agency in this story is the sex worker, a woman whom uses her attributes to forge a better life for her son. Her portrait is one that is a reminder of the need for feminism to be removed from its puritanical influences, as while her profession may be viewed as immoral by many, she has found some semblance of freedom in this restrictive culture, deriving power from the male gaze to better life for herself and her son. A stark, powerful portrait of contemporary Iranian Society, Tehran Taboo is startling reminder of the importance of individual liberty, and what it truly means to be free.
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