By Tambay A. Obenson | Shadow and Act March 12, 2014 at 7:52PM
5 - The Iran Job, a feature-length documentary highlighting the peaks and valleys experienced by Kevin Sheppard, a pro American basketball player, who accepts a contract to play in Iran.
What begins as a typical job-for-hire, ends in an emotional roller coaster as Kevin forms an unlikely alliance with three Iranian women against the backdrop of revolutionary upheaval in Tehran. Thanks to these women, his apartment turns into an oasis of free speech, where they discuss everything from politics to religion to gender roles. Kevin’s season in Iran culminates in something much bigger than basketball: the uprising and subsequent suppression of Iran’s reformist Green Movement – a powerful prelude to the still unfolding Arab Spring.
It took the filmmaker behind this informative and entertaining project, Till Schauder, some 4 years to complete it, as he basically moved with Sheppard to Iran, and followed him around on a daily basis, for the entire basketball season. The end result provides American audiences with a side of Iran rarely shown in American media (everyday working people in Iran, who are just as passionate about their basketball, as even the most rabid NBA fans). In that sense, it's a movie that's more political than it is a sports documentary.
After finally being acquired by Film Movement, it screened theatrically in the USA, although in a very limited release, and was part of the National Black Programming Consortium's season 5 of AfroPoP: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange last year.
The film received national press attention, even including some Oscar buzz, although it didn't make the nominations short list.
Check out the trailer below: