Mouchette and Rosetta, meet Taraneh, Iran’s representative in the perennial Miss Teen “Victim of Cruel Fate” pageant. Directed by veteran Rassul Sadr- Ameli, I’m Taraneh, 15 tracks the travails of the eponymous character as she comforts her imprisoned father and shoulders the economic burden of her husband’s abandonment. Marked by heroic equanimity, Taraneh sloughs off each successive tragedy with a weary smile and an unwavering faith in the nobility of her principles. Sadr-Ameli opts for a tone of distanced objectivity, where melodramatic revelations are slow-pedaled; his documentary background is evident in the detailed portrait of institutional sexism and an even-handed struggle with the ethics of abortion. Winner of the special jury prize and Best Actress award (for star Taraneh Alidousti) at the 2002 Locarno Film Festival, I’m Taraneh, 15 can nobly stand behind its more celebrated forebears.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on January 3, 2006