On a cold night in Tehran, two young lovers go from hospital to hospital in search of help as they face the tragic consequences of their youthful naivety, in the latest from Iranian writer-director Ali Asgari.
Marking his leap to feature filmmaking, award-winning director Ali Asgari's Disappearance is about young love and loss of innocence within the barriers of Iranian society.
Emerging with teenage temerity out of a dark alleyway, Sara reaches out for help at one of the many Tehran hospitals that she will visit over the course of the night. Doe-eyed and withdrawn, Sara is reluctant to divulge the details of her delicate injury, or any personal information, and this renders the medics unable to help. Even when her boyfriend, Hamed, shows up, posing as her brother, the urgent procedure cannot begin until her parents give their authorization.
So begins a road trip into Tehran's urban darkness for two young lovers seeking to erase their indiscretion. As they travel from hospital to hospital, the longest night of their lives will put their relationship to the test and see them forever changed by the sobering light of sunrise.
Continuing his collaboration with writing partner Farnoosh Samadi, Asgari shows the modest humanism and controlled filmmaking we've come to expect from Iranian masters like Jafar Panahi and Asghar Farhadi. First-timers Sadaf Asgari and Amir Reza Ranjbaran deliver remarkable performances as the teenage couple, the camera capturing their every nervous hesitation and awkward trepidation. Quiet and absorbing, Disappearance shows us the complex reality of Iran's strict cultural mores while casting a compassionate gaze on the resilience of youth.