Three desperate women cross paths in Tehran during a long night of unhappiness in “Unfinished Stories.” Experimenting with expressionistic use of sound, this debut by Iranian shortsmaker Pourya Azarbayjani is more interesting for its view of contempo life than its craft. Reminiscent of stronger films dealing with distaff topics such as “The Circle” and “The Girl in the Sneakers,” it should tour the fest circuit.
Beginning with a strange backdrop of brand name electronics and Christmas decorations, the pic’s comprised of three slightly connected segs that relate more strongly in the end. Longest episode focuses on rebellious teen Setareh (Setareh Pesyani) who’s wandering the streets after being forbidden to see her boyfriend. While waiting for him at a bus stop, she converses with a soldier. When Setareh moves on, a car driven by outspoken, middle-class Hengameh (Hengameh Ghaziani) pulls up. After determining she’s pregnant during a grim scene in a public washroom, Hengameh’s stopped by police for being out alone at night. Her search for an abortionist takes her to the hospital where timid, religious Saiideh (Saiideh Amir Saii) who’s just given birth can’t pay the bill. Thesping feels non-pro.