New York Times
"[A] quietly satisfying gem"
"Contrasting wavelengths of humor and seriousness come through with impressive clarity... a nuanced, intelligent and consistently droll take on hot-button subjects of immigration, identity and cultural assimilation"
"[Director Babak] Jalali peppers this darkly funny, often absurdist piece with enough socio-political messaging to add heft but not didacticism. It all makes for a singular, well-observed balancing act"
Los Angeles Times
Radio Dreams follows a day in the life of Pars Radio, San Francisco's #1 Farsi-language broadcaster and home to a diverse sampling of the Iranian diaspora. Winner of the 45th Rotterdam International Film Festival's Tiger Award, it is the newest feature film from Iranian-British director Babak Jalali (Frontier Blues).
The station's program manager, Hamid Royani, a brilliant, misunderstood Iranian writer (played by the "Iranian Bob Dylan" Mohsen Namjoo), moved to the United States to pursue the American Dream, but finds himself working at a small Iranian radio station, seeing artistic satisfaction through the esoteric programming he puts together. Nevertheless, Hamid tries to sustain his artistic principles with programming that includes poetry, short stories, and regional music from Iran and its neighbors. In an ambitious undertaking that promises to unite art and commerce, Hamid has brought Kabul Dreams, Afghanistan's first rock band, and arranged for them to meet Metallica, their long-time idols, for an on-air jam session. Meanwhile, Hamid must juggle a dysfunctional mix of on-air talent, station managers, and performers while fending off the owner's plans to wrest control of the station.
With gentle humor and a deadpan eye towards cultural differences, Radio Dreams brings to life the sometimes bizarre experience of immigrants pursuing dreams in the U.S. Compassion and insight give a generous depth to this low-key, slow-burn comedy about immigration, integration, and identity.
Directed by Babak Jalali, U.S.A., 2016, 94 mins. In Farsi, English, Dari and Assyrian with English subtitles.
- Fri., June 30 at 7 & 9 pm
- Sat., July 1 at 1, 3, 5, 7 & 9 pm
- Sun., July 2 at 1, 3, 5 & 7 pm
- Mon.Thurs., July 36 at 7 & 9 pm
$10 general admission
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