Doing it in the Dark

"First sex scene" in Iranian cinema after 1979

Doing it in the Dark
by rezasafavi

Review by Setareh Sabeti: A scene from "20 Fingers" (2004) directed by Mania Akbari.A film in several episodes with Bijan Daneshmand and Mania Akbari, exposing some of the issues of men and women within the confines of traditionand family lifein Iran. Each episode is devoted to various life situations and displays a different form of male/female interaction. The placing of the actors in a moving vehicle or against a moving back drop signifies the movement of life despite all the obstacles in its way. The film deals with the roots of dependencies, limitations, power struggles and conflict that are the familiar stuff of life of couples in the Middle East.



It's just you

by benross on


The rest of us, specially if Iranian male, don't see any difference between sex and rape. It's the same thing! Iraj Mirza wants to make a point that chador is unbecoming for a free woman, so he rapes her to make his point. And everybody says oh wow what a modern thinker!

Sadly dear, it's just you.



Is it just me or does

by Aramesh on

Is it just me or does anybody else think that this is clearly a "rape/sexual assault". The girl is clearly flirting with the guy in the beginning. you can tell by her tone of voice(specially if you are a girl yourself!) and when she is giving him some hints that she would like him to hold her when she sayd " It's getting cold here". She obviously did NOT ask for him to rape her though!;hence the rape, which was very sad...

persian westender

That's good

by persian westender on

 IR's standards always improve the power of imagination by banning the reality. yeah, we fill the blank. we used to having the blank for long. dark scenes are the complementary of the visual arts for us. keep them coming. keep the dark scenes coming. after all we are all good at filling the blank  



the sound!

by Mehman on

The totally dark scene was OK according to one authority who checked the movie before issuing the permit for screening it but... there was still a major problem: the "heno hen sounds" of the 2 characters involved in the dark act...

if and only if all sounds could be removed (turned off, muted) during that black scene then the movie would have been appropriate for screening!


She clearly objects.

by پیام on

This must be the first rape scene after the revolution.


Setareh Jon:

by Sadra on

I didn't know!  I was just trying to be helpful by showing that'ers knew about this film back in 2004!  It is a nice piece of writing, under whatever name it is written! Thank you for doing good all the time, Setareh.

Setareh Sabety


by Setareh Sabety on

thank you Sadra, most of my friends and people who read me knew this. I went public with it some time after the 2009 election uprising. Shahla Azizi is my nom de plume or pen name which I used when I lived in Iran and wrote articles from there. I guess the person who posted this clip knew this.
here is a list of articles I wrote for under that Shahla Azizi. cheers. :)


A 2004 review of 20 Fingers by Shahla Azizi (on

by Sadra on

Setareh Sabety


by Setareh Sabety on

The person who posted this mentioned me as the writer. I think he meant I wrote the review from which he quoted above. I did not write the script for this movie. I merely was the first person to review it at my friend who is the producer/actors request.
Thank you, :)



by yolanda on

I thought this is a ground-breaking and taboo-breaking film........after I watched it.......I was completely clueless! I saw silhouette....nothing else!


Wow That Was HOT

by HHH on

It was like ...... Fill The Blank With Your Own Imagination. So I filled it with lot of my own fantasies and filled the girl's face with the face of the girl I like and there it was, a hot sex in the car.

Only I'm not sure why all girls in today's Iran cry after sex as if they just committed a sin.

Could it be because Iran is Molla-zadeh?


This is a great film for the blind!

by MM on


Nader Vanaki

بیست انگشت یعنی

Nader Vanaki

بعد از دیدن این فیلم شاید باید بیست بار به حلقتون انگشت بزنید تا کاملآ بالا بیارید. معیار جدید ارزشیابی فیلم هاست و پیشنهاد می کنم که در این وب سایت علامت آیکون انگشت برای ریتینگ فیلم ها استفاده بشه.

Mormon Socialist

Twenty Fingers by Mania Akbari

by Mormon Socialist on

Ooh, I know this one! "Twenty Fingers" by Mania Akbari, who wrote, directed and starred in it.  It's a terrific film, one of my favourite Iranian movies.

It's a very simple film, structured around 7-8 intense conversations between a man and a woman (who were originally going to be played by different couples in each case, but in the end just played by Akbari and her costar, who may or may not be the same couple!) One of the things I like about it is that it is a film about relationships, universal in scope. Although the setting and characters in the movie are 100% Iranian, the dialogues could pretty much take place anywhere, in any country (very little needing to be changed).

I've shown it to (non-Iranian) people who start off viewing the film thinking it's just going to be a little slice of Iranian life and culture, but realise by the end that it is just as much about their own life and relationships too.



by andishmand.babak on