As the title of this enigmatic Iranian drama from debuting helmer-writer Fardin Saheb Zamani promises, “There Are Things You Don’t Know,” but that deliberate mystification will alienate most viewers by the time the pic wraps, though domestic auds may find apt metaphors. Dreamlike nocturnal lensing and evocative sound design rep the most interesting aspects of this melancholy mood piece about a Tehran taxi driver who works the night shift and has chosen to distance himself from society. Karlovy Vary world preem is strictly a fest item.
Back in his university days, closed-mouthed cabbie Ali (Ali Mossafa, too emotionally tamped down) may have wanted to change the world, but now his attitude is, “It’s not my problem.” Although some of his obnoxious customers are uneasy about a predicted earthquake, he just keeps driving. Former gal pal Sima (Mahtab Kermati) tells him she’s leaving the country at about the same time he becomes intrigued by a mysterious passenger (Leila Hatami). In interviews, the helmer has suggested that Ali’s situation mirrors that of Iranian intellectuals who withdraw from real life for safety’s sake.