Fellow Citizen (1995)

  |  Documentary

Fellow Citizen (1995) Poster

In this documentary a citizen is trying in a street of Tehran to control the traffic and not let people to break the law which cause them to react differently and lead to funny situations.


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20 March 2007 | rasecz
| The travail of a traffic enforcer in the face of pleading fellow citizens
On July 1983, lawmakers in Teheran decided to close off a section of the capital to regular traffic. Only drivers with special permits could cross the road blocks set up at various intersections leading to the restricted zone.

Well, Iran is not Germany. Respect the law? Only if you can't get away by pleading your right to an exemption to the traffic cops. Just this time, please. I won't do it tomorrow.

Kiarostami set up shop at one of those intersections and filmed the interaction of one cop with the many drivers trying to enter the restricted zone. The results are predictable. Drivers without permits trying all kind of excuses to get through. The presence of a hospital a block away within the zone justifies a variety of medical excuses. The poor cop seems overwhelmed and in exasperation lets many through in violation of the law. Recidivists are recognized, confronted with yesterday's promise not to try again, and we are back at square one. Go ahead my fellow citizen, break the law and have a good day.

The problem with this film is that it goes on for too long. The excuses because repetitive. You keep waiting for some humorous thematic variation, but nothing fresh develops.

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Filming Locations

Tehran, Iran

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