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Review: 'The Hunter' A Fantastic, Grim Thriller Targeting Modern Iran

  • By Christopher Bell
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  • January 4, 2012 10:02 AM
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We've come to expect more than a few things from Iran in recent years, and that goes for its cinema as well (at least the films we actually get to see). The country's most notable movies employ a naturalistic aesthetic, blend fact and fiction, indulge in minimalism and, in that sense, "The Hunter" is a pretty large anomaly. Rafi Pitts's fourth narrative shares genes not with Abbas Kiarostami, but with the nonexistent birth child of Michael Haneke and Nuri Bilge Ceylan -- it's a quiet and patient thriller, complete with an eye for the country's terrain and how its nasty urban dwellings, cold environment, and abominable social/political climate affect its inhabitants. Like the Turkish auteur, there are small moments of truth that touch deeply, and similar to our Austrian grandfather, there are strategic, alarming bursts of violence sprinkled throughout. In short, "The Hunter" is the first must-see of 2012.

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