The Circle

Director: Jafar Panahi
Year Released: 2000
Rating: 1.0

Clearly designed to draw in your pity - women abused, imprisoned, repressed in patriarchal culture - but instead becomes irritating and tiresome, every extended take focusing, unswervingly, on the face of some abused female. One-note, really, how it details, like a sociological experiment, the different ways women can get in trouble every single day: smoking, traveling alone, not having a student pass, not wearing the proper clothing, delivering a girl instead of a boy, smiling. It's all true, I imagine, but the unbearable mounting of oppressive forces in every scene feels calculated.