Review: ‘Nose Iranian Style’

A surprising, compulsively watchable documentary that raises unsettling questions about human nature and contemporary Iranian society, "Nose Iranian Style" is about Iran leading the world in the number of nose jobs per year, currently estimated at 60,000-70,000.

A surprising, compulsively watchable documentary that raises unsettling questions about human nature and contemporary Iranian society, “Nose Iranian Style” is about Iran leading the world in the number of nose jobs per year, currently estimated at 60,000-70,000. Exploring the psychology of young people in particular and their obsession with getting rid of their “big noses,” award-winning documaker Mehrdad Oskouei uses feather-light humor to suggest how far his country has back-tracked since the 1979 revolution and war with Iraq. Shot to TV length, “Nose” would also make an entertaining, offbeat filler for fest slots.

School girls, but also boys, look forward to their nose operations, which they hope will make them attractive to the opposite sex. Model noses are found in Western fashion mags, but Michael Jackson is also cited. Entire families follow the cookie-cutter fashion, rarely motivated by any real need. Possible reasons behind this rhinoplasty epidemic are the emphasis that scarves and hijabs put on women’s faces, and a general feeling of loss of identity among the younger generation. Oskouei and his editors wisely let the patients and surgeons speak for themselves with minimal comment.

Nose Iranian Style

Iran

Production

A Mehrdad Oskouei/Sheherazad Media Intl. co-production. (International sales: Sheherazad Media, Tehran.) Produced by Mehrdad Oskouei, Katayoon Shahabi. Executive producer, Vahid Entezam. Directed by Mehrdad Oskouei. Screenplay, Oskouei, Mandana Karimi, Alireza Bahrami.

Crew

Camera (color, DV), Reza Teymouri; editors, Maziar Miri, Babak Karimi; music, Ali Samadpour; sound, Farshid Faraji. Reviewed at Cannes Film Festival (market), May 20, 2006. Damagh Be Sabke Irani. Running time: 52 MIN.
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