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Movie Review: Offside

Alternate Title: Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

Story: One of Iran's bravest film makers, Jafar Panahi, once again creates a terrific film about his country's oppressive, medieval treatment of women.

The plot takes place during the 2005 soccer match between Iran and Bahrain. The match, held in Teheran, will allow on the of teams to advance to the World Cup in Germany. The subject of oppression is handled in a humorous way, with a loving homage to his country and its people.

Iranian law prohibits women from attending soccer matches. Several teenage girls, who are avid soccer fans, independently attempt to sneak into the stadium dressed as men. Once caught, they are held in a makeshift pen just outside the stadium by reluctant young soldiers.

During the course of the game, the girls discuss the outdated law, their love of soccer, the soldier's lives and life in general. Bonds, friendship and love of soccer bring all parties together.

This film does more for international relations than any United Nations meeting could possibly accomplish. See it and smile. GOAL!

Acting: Everyone was terrific.

Predilection: I like this director.

Critters: None

Food: Some sort of sweet was enjoyed while celebrating.

Blatant Product Placement: The good people of Iran

Theater Audience: The three of us were half the audience.

Weather: Hot and sunny in Teheran

Sappy Factor: 0

Quirky Meter: 0

Squirm Scale: The medieval treatment of women makes me crazy.

Drift Factor: I did not drift at all.

Predictability Level: High

Tissue Usage: 0

Oscar Worthy: Why not? That would be a boost to international relations.

Big Screen or Rental: Chances are you will not be able to find this fine film at your local multiplex so rental is the way to go. For some of director Jafar Panahi's other films you can also rent: Crimson Gold, The Circle, The Mirror

and The White Balloon

Length: Under two hours