Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad Steele: 'How to Get Away w/ Murder' & 'Black-ish' - the Good & the Bad "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap "Randy, Red Superfreak and Julia" - 'Scandal' Season 4 Premiere Recap 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... 'How to Get Away with Murder' Episode 1 Recap + Your Thoughts... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Read What YOU Thought About 'Black-ish' After Last Night's Premiere... Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? Storm Would Have to be Recast for Future 'X-Men' Movies. Who Would You Like to See Play Her? 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) 5 Netflix Streaming Titles You May Not Know Are Available & May Want to Check Out (9/23/14) Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio Awkward Black Girl's Next Misadventure: Her Own Studio 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. 101-Year-Old Film Footage Found in Museum's Collection Is Earliest-Known Feature Made w/ Black Actors. First Public Screening in Nov. Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Once Supporters Now Critical of Actress Daniele Watts, as Civil Rights Activists Call on Actress to Apologize Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now Watch First Episode of ABC's New Series 'Black-ish' Now 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) 'Terror at the Mall,' Documentary on Siege of Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, Coming to HBO (Trailer) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Thankfully, 'The Equalizer' Gets an "R" Rating From the MPAA (No Surprise Here) Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Early Reviews Say 'How To Get Away With Murder' is Very Much in the Style of 'Scandal.' Good Thing or Not? Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Aaron McGruder Finally Explains Why He Left 'The Boondocks' Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) Lifetime Launches New Series Set In Elite World Of Hip-Hop Majorette Competitions (Watch Preview) ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series ABC Is Making Changes To The Next-Day Online Availability Of Its Series Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Netflix Explains Why It Doesn't Always Have That Film Or TV Show You Really Want To See (Video) Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Tichina Arnold Says She Talked To Martin Lawrence About Doing A 'Martin' Movie... Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting Denzel Washington Reveals Daughter Is In 'Django Unchained' + Roles He Regrets Rejecting Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More) Exclusive: Omari Hardwick Raw (Career Evolution, Transition, Testimony Of Faith In Hollywood, 'Kick-Ass 2,' More)

New on DVD Review: 'The Iran Job' Gives a Surprisingly Lighthearted Look at a Baller's Life in the Middle East

Photo of Jai Tiggett By Jai Tiggett | Shadow and Act March 10, 2014 at 2:40PM

Film Movement released the critically acclaimed sports drama The Iran Job on DVD on March 4.
0
The Iran Job

Film Movement released the critically acclaimed sports drama The Iran Job on DVD on March 4.

From husband and wife filmmakers Till Schauder and Sara Nodjoumi, The Iran Job documents life overseas for a young point guard from the U.S. Virgin Islands. Kevin Sheppard, a one-time NBA hopeful who now plays basketball internationally, is called to leave his family, his girlfriend, and his home of St. Croix to join Iranian Super League team A.S.Shiraz. His journey is filmed from 2008-2009 in the shadow of a political uprising and talk from the U.S. of annihilating the nation altogether, making it dangerous and thus, twice as profitable to play there.

The story is quickly framed around Kevin being the great black hope of the dreadful team, which depends on him to earn its first shot at the playoffs. We follow his rise as a player, blazing across the court to a soundtrack of Iranian hip hop, and we also see a friendship blossom with three young women who offer him a lens into women’s rights issues in the country. It’s here that the story seems to take shape as Kevin, who typically avoids politics, is drawn in by his friends’ struggles under a regime that refuses to let them dress, live, and do as they please. Shot on the sly on the director's small HDV camera, the visuals are straightforward and rely on the appeal of the characters to keep us intrigued.

The Iran Job has a charming enough narrative, though there are a few missed opportunities when it comes to race and culture. There are cultural misunderstandings aplenty, as Kevin doesn’t speak the language and knows little about the Middle East, and the Iranians he encounters seem unfamiliar with black people beyond Bob Marley. He works hard to make everyone comfortable, joking and singing, and as a viewer I’m curious about how he feels about it all. I suppose I expected the film to take the same interest in Kevin that it does in his female comrades, giving us more of an inside look at his cultural perspective as a black man in a foreign land. Rather, it places its focus elsewhere – on basketball, on his friends – and seems to suggest that as long as everyone is well-intentioned and smiling, there’s no need to dig deeper.

In the end, the message is clear - that focusing on our similarities instead of our differences can allow for mutual appreciation and great laughs, if not ultimate understanding. The film’s use of sports to discuss Iranian issues, taking a lighter approach to a subject that could otherwise make for a grim narrative, makes it an interesting watch.

Learn more about The Iran Job at the film’s website HERE.


This article is related to: The Iran Job, Documentary, Reviews


Shadow & ActNewsletter