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American Women's Club of Hamburg

Review - A Dragon Arrives

Director: Mani Haghighi Iran 2016

What connections do the mysterious death of an exiled political prisoner, a geologist, a sound engineer, and a detective have in the film A Dragon Arrives! These people all play a role that will add to the film’s mystery. The film begins with an investigation into the death of the exiled political prisoner who was found in an abandoned ship in the middle of a desert island. Rumors suggest that, once a body has been buried in a certain area, the earth opens its jaws wide. Conveniently this is the area that Hafizi (Amir Jadidi) and Detective Charaki (Ali Bagheri) bury the body. After some strange and unsettling events, it becomes clear that this case has more to it than initially thought. Hafizi enlists the help of his friend and actress Shahrzad (Kiana Tajammol) to help him bring together Keyvan, the sound engineer (Ehsan Goudarzi), and geologist Behnam (Homayoun Ghanizadeh). The trio set out to solve the mystery of the political exile, and end up uncovering more than just a few mysteries to add to their quest.

This film is one that leaves you in wonder. The characters present the story in a way that has you questioning if it is truth or fiction. All the way through the film you are reminded that this story took place in reality, but the way in which it has been filmed also makes you question that reality. At first did not think I would enjoy this film, as it was hard to understand where the film was going, and to determine what the actual story was. Thankfully, within the first twenty minutes, I came to understand the rhythm of it, and started to become integrated. The film sets out to answer the question about what happened to the "exile" and, in doing so, creates more questions along the way.  These questions haunts even as the film ends. For a story that seems to be straightforward and to offer simple answers, it definitely takes you on a wild ride. This adventure that the three undertake brings them closer together in ways they were not expecting, and tears them apart through unforeseen events. It's also interesting to see the actual people involved in the story and in the making of the film. This insertion of the actual story makers helps to remind the viewer of the event’s reality and offers an interesting subplot within the film. This film with all of its twists and turns will definitely leave you wanting more, but you will only be left wondering what happened? (MR)

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