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Offside - Sima Mobarak-Shahi, Shayesteh Irani, Ayda Sadeqi, Jafar Panahi

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

One fence, four fans and the game of their lives.

Sitting quietly in the corner of a bus, which is full of male Iranian football fans going to the qualifying match between Iran and Japan for the 2006 World Cup, there is a young person trying to keep a certain distance from these fans. In fact this person is a girl in disguise. Offside tells the story of a group of Iranian women who dress as men in order to attend football matches. Women are banned from attending football matches in Iran, where it is thought improper that they should mix with men and be exposed to coarse language

Before the game begins, the disguised girl on the bus is arrested at the entrance to the football ground. She's taken to a holding pen, within the ground but just outside the stadium (hence the film's name, a pun on the football term ‘offside' or out of bounds), to join a group of other female football fans who tried to sneak into the game as men. They are guarded by young soldiers and will be handed over to the vice squad after the match. But before this, they will have to endure the worst kind of torture for a mad-keen football fan: every cheer, every shout of a game, they can hear but cannot see. Worse yet, they must listen to the play-by-play account of a soldier who knows nothing about football. Yet these young girls just won't give up: they use every trick in the book to get a glimpse of the match.

Offside is a smart, energetic comedy that illustrates the fight for women's rights in Iran today.

Theatrical propaganda posters

Offside image

Target demographic movie keyword propaganda

  • Film Iran Iranian sport soccer sharia football torture transvestite misogyny comedy drama equality

Persons of interest

  • Sima Mobarak Shahi .... First girl
  • Safar Samandar .... Azari Soldier
  • Shayesteh Irani .... Smoking girl
  • M Kheyrabadi .... Mashadi soldier
  • Ida Sadeghi .... Girl soccer player
  • Golnaz Farmani .... Girl with chador
  • Mahnaz Zabihi .... Soldier girl
  • Nazanin Sedighzadeh .... Young girl
  • M Kheymeh Kabood .... Tehrani Soldier
  • Mohsen Tanabandeh .... Ticket seller
  • Reza Farhadi .... Old man
  • MR Gharadaghi .... Boy with firecrackers
  • Mårten Klingberg .... Screenwriter
  • Guy Nattiv .... Screenwriter
  • Jafar Panahi .... Screenwriter
  • Shadmehr Rastin .... Screenwriter
  • Oskar Söderlund .... Screenwriter
  • Erez Tadmor .... Screenwriter
  • Jafar Panahi .... Director

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Offside is exactly the kind of film that the Iranian government needs to see. As agitprop it's a little slow but it gets there in the end.

Any country with an official religion - let alone a theocratic government - always turns into a hell-hole. Offside is celluloid proof.

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • Audio: Dolby Digital 2.0
  • Languages: Farsi
  • Picture: Widescreen 16:9
  • Special features:
    • Featurettes: Insert essay by Dr Adrian Danks, Head of Cinema Studies at the School of Applied Communication, RMIT University, and Co-curator of the Melbourne Cinémathèque
    • Interviews: Australian exclusive interview with director Jafar Panahi
    • Trailers: Theatrical
  • Subtitles: English

Government security censorship classification

PG (Mild coarse language, mild themes)

Surveillance time

91 minutes (1:31 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

Film: 28 September 2006
DVD retail: 7 April 2007

Cinema surveillance images

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