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The setting of Iron Island is an old oil boat docked off the coast of Iran. Its many nooks and crannies serve as home to the country's poor, handicapped, and neglected. Needless to say, this Iranian film doubles as an allegory for the nation's woes. If class hierarchy even among these abandoned denizens doesn't drive home the metaphor, the fact that the giant tanker is slowly sinking does. Captain Nemat oversees the floating community, juggling many duties (doctor, administrator, and judge, among them). When his young helper falls in love with a girl on the boat, it sets up the movie's main conflict: She was promised to another man, and Nemat tends to uphold that vow. The boy's defiance sparks a ruthless retaliation. But Iron Island isn't so much about moral dilemmas as it is about painting a vivid portrait of a group of people forgotten by their countrymen.
Fri., July 28, 5:15 p.m.; Sun., July 30, 7 p.m.

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