Synopsis: Zahra is a middle-aged woman who visits a temporary marriage agency and signs up to have a young working girl. She picks her up to take her home but the girl (Negar) who has never had a female client before, becomes suspicious of Zahra’s intent and sexual orientation.
Bita Beygi (Negar)
Hamed Rahimi - nasr (Masoud)
Ali-pouya Ghasemi (Omid)
In Iran, it is forbidden to engage in a sexual relationship outside marriage. The sex trade is also illegal and the offenders are arrested and punished unless the trade is done through Sharia as permanent or temporary marriages. Therefore, sexual satisfaction among the young generation who are not able to marry due to financial and social issues is a serious problem.
But this problem is even worse for autistic people, wheelchair-bound disabled patients, or people with spinal cord injuries. Their sexual desires are completely ignored or suppressed through hormone therapy and/or medication. According to popular belief, these people are considered asexual.
I attempted to show in this film the efforts of a mother to resolve her autistic son’s sexual problems in a strict religious society. Zahra is a mother who believes that suppressing sexual desire through hormone therapy and medication is not the best way to deal with this issue. She wants her son to experience a healthy relationship with a woman instead of masturbation.
The form of the film is overshadowed by the content and is based on the secrecy of characters, and the conservative oriental shame in dealing with the taboo of sex. The mise-en-scène is based on Zahra’s point of view: at first, she sees Negar, the prostitute, as a two-digit code and a sexual object. Then, when Negar gets in Zahra’s car, we see her in the back seat as if she is inferior to the driver. But as the film continues, a mother-daughter relationship is gradually shaped between these two women, giving Negar a more realistic and humane character. So when they come out of the police station, we see her on the front seat equivalent to Zahra. At the end of the film, Negar is no more a code on the paper, but a woman who stands alone in front of the camera acquiring the right to decide whether she wants to sleep with an autistic young man or not. On the other hand, Zahra has gone down a different path: her attitude towards Negar changes and therefore she sympathizes with her and doubts the morality of her decision because she considers her a victim, just like her son.
Also, to portray a realistic picture and avoid judgment, the camera is most of the time fixed on eye level.
Alireza Kazemipour is an award-winning Iranian screenwriter and filmmaker. He has a master’s degree in Cinema Studies from the University Of Tehran, Iran.
In 2010, he directed his first short film “Slowness”. He continued his career and made a feature documentary “Margin vs. Center” in 2019, and a short film “The Blue Bed”.
“The Blue Bed” has been selected for some Oscar-qualifying festivals like Short Shorts Film Festival & Asia 2020, and Goya-qualifying like Elche Independent Film Festival 2020, and Palencia International Film Festival. He has received the Best Director Award from Vancouver Short Film Festival 2020.
Recently, he has written a feature movie that is called “Into Schrodinger’s Box” that is directed by Amir Ganjavi and Nasim Naghavi in Toronto, Canada, and will be released on the Fandor platform soon.