Iranian thesp-helmer Mania Akbari, star of Abbas Kiarostami’s “10,” delivers a sequel of sorts with her ultra-personal meditation on life with cancer, “10 + 4.” More a curiosity in the earlier film’s style than a proper sequel, low-budget docu uses the same fixed DV lensing, mostly the same car-centric locale and even some of the same cast members, but themes this time are considerably narrower. Kiarostami himself suggested the idea, but current offering is more a limited-interest DVD supplement than a likely theatrical release.

P.o.v. switches back and forth between passenger and driver as Akbari again shuttles family and friends in her car through the streets of Tehran. First is her son Amin Maher, a little older now and preoccupied with his concept of the ideal woman while addressing his bald mother’s physical transformation after chemotherapy. Akbari’s way of coping with the cancer (“I don’t think this is God’s punishment”) will feel old-fashioned to anyone familiar with disease-of-the week telepics, not to mention confessional talkshows, though docu’s style is anything but mainstream. Mediocre digital quality aside, the most lasting impression is one of strong female solidarity.

10 + 4


  • Production: A Sheherazad Media Intl. production. (International sales: Sheherazad Meda Intl, Tehran). Produced by Mania Akbari, Shahram Shahandeh. Directed, written by Mania Akbari.
  • Crew: Camera (color, DV), Tooraj Aslani, Kohyar Kalari, Faraz Heydari, Akbari; editor, Mastaneh Mohajer; sound, Kambiz Saffar, Amin Mirshekari. Reviewed at San Sebastian Film Festival (Zabaltegi New Directors), Sept. 24, 2007. (Also in Vancouver Film Festival.) Original title: Dah be alaveh Chahar. Running time: 77 MIN.
  • With: <b>With:</b> Mania Akbari, Amin Maher, Behnaz Jafari, Roya Akbari, Mina Hamidi, Maedeh Tahmasebi, Bahareh Mosadeghiyan, Jinous Azadegan, Ramin Rastad.
  • Music By: