Snake-Tanic Verses

Since Iran isn’t exactly a celluloid hotbed, a big surprise in Berlin last week was the presence of an Iranian pic. A bigger surprise was its subject matter. “Snake Fang,” the first Iranian film to sink its teeth into a major international competition, is a stinging portrayal of postwar chaos in southern Iran following the war with Iraq. Buzz hears Iranian government officials didn’t want the film representing the country, since it depicts corruption, child abuse, wife beating, a flourishing black market and desperate refugees in the war-savaged city of Khorramshahr. The government was apparently powerless to withdraw it from competition, which may give Iranian industryites a little more freedom in the future if the pic draws acclaim.

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