UNDER THE MOONLIGHT
Iranian Islam – from the inside.
Release Date: October 18, 2002
Starring: Hossein Parastar, Hamed
Rajabali and Mehran Rababi
Audience: Mature teens and adults
Rating: Not Rated
Runtime: 96 minutes
Director: Reza Mir-Karimi
Producer: Manoucher Mohammadi
Writer: Reza Mir-Karimi
Address Comments To:
11523 Santa Monica Blvd.
West Los Angeles, CA 90025
Phone: (310) 478-1041
CONTENT (FR, H, O, V, M) Islamic religious elements with humanist worldview; man repeatedly punches another man; and, young boy steals, and young boy reads main character’s fortune.
In UNDER THE MOONLIGHT, a young Iranian man returning from buying clothing needed to graduate from school as a Muslim cleric, is sidetracked when a young boy steals his purchase. While searching for the boy, his plans are challenged as he is led into Tehran’s poor and outcast subculture where its tenants, due to their Islamic beliefs, wonder what sin they’ve committed to cause Allah to punish them.
UNDER THE MOONLIGHT is a fascinating examination of the religion of Islam in modern day Iran.
A young Iranian from the country, Seyed Hassan, comes to Tehran to study and become a “mullah,” or a Muslim cleric. He wonders to himself if this is the right path. As graduation nears, Seyed realizes he must buy the proper attire: a vestment, head gear and shoes. He is given the money for the attire from his father. On the way home from his purchase, he encounters a young boy, “Chick,” in the subway. Chick sells him gum and ends up sitting next to him on the train where he reads Seyed’s fortune. Chick tells him he must make a decision, that one path will lead to success and the other path will be disastrous. Seyed thanks him and Chick then takes off with Seyed’s purchase.
Seyed sets out on a journey to find Chick and retrieve his belongings. When Seyed finds him, Chick tells Seyed to meet him “under the bridge” where he will return the goods. Instead of finding Chick, however, Seyed discovers the slums; the world of the poor and outcasts of Tehran. Seyed is motivated to help them perhaps at the cost of his own graduation.
For a student of world religions, UNDER THE MOONLIGHT offers a glimpse into the hopelessness of Islam. When Seyed discusses his journey with an older cleric, the mullah muses “where did we go wrong? What sin are we being punished for?” Rather than the notion of original sin and unmerited grace, Islam suggests that Allah punishes men for their wrongs somewhat capriciously.
UNDER THE MOONLIGHT is the first film of its kind which takes an inside look at Islam from the eyes of an Iranian. The technical credits are solid with assured directing, cinematography and sound. The acting is at times stilted but not distracting. This film has received international recognition for its brave and unflinching look at a closed religion within a generally closed society.
UNDER THE MOONLIGHT has gained international recognition for bravery due to being the first film of its kind that takes an inside look at Islam (a closed religion) from the eyes of an Iranian (in a closed society). A young Iranian from the country, Seyed Hassan, comes to Tehran to study to become a Muslim cleric. He wonders to himself if this is the right path. On his way home from purchasing graduation clothing, he encounters a young boy, “Chick,” in the subway. Chick reads Seyed’s fortune and tells him he must make a decision; that one path will lead to success, and the other path will be disastrous. Chick then takes off with Seyed’s purchase. En route to retrieving his belongings, Seyed discovers the slums; the poor and the outcasts of Tehran. He is motivated to help them perhaps at the cost of his own graduation.
UNDER THE MOONLIGHT glimpses into Islam’s hopelessness when Seyed discusses his journey with an older cleric. The mullah muses, “where did we go wrong? What sin are we being punished for?” Rather than Christianity’s understanding of unmerited grace, Islam suggests that Allah punishes men for their wrongs somewhat capriciously.