The brainchild of LA-based Iranian writer-director Ana Lily Amirpour, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night follows the strange relationship between a hijab-wearing undead girl and a handsome young man on a mission to recover his car, lost thanks to his father’s debts. The story plays out in the fictional Bad City, a noirish industrial gangland that looks like the States but is populated by Farsi-speakers.
With an excellent Western-meets-Iranian soundtrack and stylish cinematography, the film will hold appeal to even the most stalwartly allergic to horror. There may be shocks and a few bites in the neck, but the measured pace and atmospheric, monochrome palette make A Girl more of a mood-piece than a straight-up horror film.
The subtle undercurrent of consent within the framework of feminist vengeance make A Girl in a more intelligent and thought-provoking film that might be expected from its stylised neo-noir aesthetic. The film repeatedly raises questions about cultural difference, Western influence on Iran and gender politics – all in the context of a contemporary 'Western'. Where the film touches on its feminist themes and the politics of Iranian gender difference, it does so with ease and unexpected delicacy. No wonder it gained such a positive reception when it debuted at Sundance – high praise indeed.
Oh, and the music's great.
|What||A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night|
|Where||Rio, 107 Kingsland High Street, London, E8 2PB | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Liverpool Street (underground)|
|Website||Click here to book via the Electric Cinema.|