An Iranian version of Boys Don’t Cry,
Unveiled overflows with sociopolitical outrage even if its portrayal of a gender-confused heroine is ultimately indecisive and laconic. Facing persecution for her sexual orientation, Fariba (Jasmin Tabatabai) flees Tehran and ends up in Germany, where she escapes immigration services, reinvents herself as a man, and lands a job in a sauerkraut factory. Surrounded by sniggering rednecks who nickname her Ayatollah, Fariba lives in constant fear of being discovered, whether enduring daily locker room harassment or an extremely awkward encounter with a hooker. In the Chlo Sevigny role, Anneke Kim Sarnau plays a romantically curious co-worker who may or may not suspect her new friend’s real gender. In the end, Unveiled also suffers from something of an identity crisis, going from thriller to love story to gauzy booby-fest to (in one scene) Thelma & Louise. Director Angelina Maccarone should’ve expanded on the film’s airport-set opening sequence, which possesses a journalistic urgency as well as ample humor. Fariba’s state of jet-lagged limbo is a far more compelling encapsulation of her sexual identity than any amount of hurried cross-dressing.