Tuesday, 1 March 2016

I've Just Seen: A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Dokhtari dar šab tanhâ be xâne miravad) (2014)

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Dokhtari dar šab tanhâ be xâne miravad) (2014)


Director: Ana Lily Amirpour

Few films mix genres so readily as Amirpour's film. Part Western, part vampire horror, part romance, part gangster, set in a Iranian 'Bad Town,' all filmed in black-and-white. A Girl Walks Home moves through its story, giving its audience little sense of what is to come next; whether the next person The Girl looks at will be attacked, helped or seduced.

While I did not fall in love with the film the way many others have, it is was difficult not to be impressed by it. The film wears its feminism on is sleeve (or chador), but it fits naturally into the plot, and cleverly re-works the traditional male vampire/ female victim relationship we usually get. The cinematography is moody, most scenes taking place at night, lit by feeble street lights. The figure of The Girl walking around in the long, black chador already feels iconic, and she appears to float over the footpaths (at one point doing so on a skateboard).

I shall definitely revisit A Girl Walks Home, as it is a film that requires you to invest in it, with many scenes playing out without any dialogue at all. Gestures and expressions are the main forms of communication throughout the story, and can be missed if the film is watched casually. Dark and unique.

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