Chicago Film Festival: A VERY ORDINARY CITIZEN

Phyllis Dreazen | 10/24/2015, 3:26 p.m.

Mr. Safari is an 80 year old pensioner in a Tehran suburb. Since his wife died a decade past, his life revolves around getting Sangak–traditional Persian bread, –from the bakery and sitting on his balcony. His son, Parviz, lives in Canada and cannot return to Iran for political reasons, so he pays Mrs. Parvin, a neighbor Mr. Safari’s senior building, to keep an eye on him. As Mr. Safari descends into Alzheimer’s and no longer answers his phone, the worried son enlists a travel agent friend, Sara, to get dad a passport, a ticket, and to accompany him to Canada where he can be looked after and get better care. However, Mr. Safari falls obsessively in love with the young woman, gives up travel plans and, before his memory goes completely, tells her he loves her and would do anything for her, including murder. The elegiac film is a strong statement about the solitude, loneliness and becoming invisible of old age – whether in contemporary Tehran, or anywhere else.