This week’s New York opening of Mohsen Makhmalbaf’s The President (Corinth Films) premieres one of best Iranian movies yet seen. Its story of a despot (Mikheil Gomiashvili) caught in the midst of a revolution, who escapes his country’s futuristically designed capital city to traverse the underdeveloped countryside with his cosseted grandson (Dachi Orvelashvili) in tow, surprises all anti-fascist expectations. Makhmalbaf looks at brotherhood by satirizing the highhanded excesses of nationhood.
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An Iranian film instructs the modern world. By Armond White