TERRESTRIAL VERSES (Melbourne IFF 2023) – Review by Alexandra Heller-Nicholas

Terrestrial Verses is as simple as it is powerfully effective. Co-directed by Alireza Khatami and Ali Asgar, the film is structured around nine stand-alone vignettes performed in front of a static camera where a range of everyday Iranians living in Tehran speak to a voice that in each case comes from an unseen character who sits just outside of the frame. While the stories vary tonally, each presents in a different way the way that the individual is forced to negotiate the often fraught, at times even absurd way that institutionalized power intersects with their lives.

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