Secret Ballot

Directed by Babak Payami

Shot on the same island (Kish) as THE DAY I BECAME A WOMAN, SECRET BALLOT is a teasing, didactic film about democracy in contemporary Iran. On election day, a ballot box is parachuted into a remote area where a bemused young soldier has the responsibility of escorting a city-based female election official, at times literally chasing votes. The persistent young woman cajoles, explains and assists the locals in voting, but she can’t explain away the traditional attitude towards women nor the fact that God is not an ‘approved’ candidate. With its gentle humour, the film asks questions about the essence of democracy, hinting beyond the specifics of an Iranian election to recall a Florida’s autumn day. Derived from a story by Mohsen Makhmalbaf, SECRET BALLOT won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival

101 minutes

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