No Date, No Signature
Amir Aghaee, Zakieh Behbahani, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Saeed Dakh
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…a thoughtful drama offering up a searing examination of the vicissitudes that can arise out of one simple act.
Can you live with yourself after you may have caused the death of a child? That is the question explored in Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jalilvand’s excellent new drama, No Date, No Signature, which played in competition at the Sydney Film Festival.
The film centres on honest forensic doctor Kaveh Nariman (Amir Aghaee), who hits a motorcycle while driving at night, injuring a family of four. While the doctor does everything he can, urging the family to go to a hospital, they prefer to go their own way. Two days later, the corpse of a boy who was part of the injured family turns up in the doctor’s morgue, containing heavy levels of food poisoning from rotten meat, but also spinal injuries.
What follows is an in-depth examination of the unseen consequences of this death on a whole community.
The father of the boy (Navid Mohammadzadeh), attacks the man who sold him the meat, the meat seller loses his job, goes to hospital, and eventually jail. The father goes to jail for his attack, leaving a wife who’s lost her son to provide for herself.
The doctor, wrestling with his conscience, continually follows around the father, almost wanting to accept blame – even requesting a second autopsy.
But the autopsy isn’t really of the boy. It’s of the doctor’s beliefs, his guilt.
The second feature by Iranian director Jalilvand (2015’s Wednesday May 9) is a sprawling drama playing with a wide range of implications, yet offering no answers. No one in the community is untouched by the consequences of the boy’s death.
No Date, No Signature is a thoughtful drama offering up a searing examination of the vicissitudes that can arise out of one simple act.