In his first feature film Iranian/Armenian writer/director Pouria Heidary Oureh places his story in his two home countries which are very rarely the settings for any LGBTQ movie. The tale he spins is exceptionally beautiful and told with such a discreet compassion and understanding that when the main crux of the story is finally revealed, you cannot help feel deeply moved by the journey that Aram (Narbe Vartan) the protagonist has taken.
Aram has flown from L.A. where he has been living since his father died, and is met at Zvarnots Airport by his older brother Arman (Hovhannes Azoyan) who had never left Armenia. Aram is going to be staying for just one day, and the first part of his rushed visit is to make a formal proposal of marriage to an Armenian girl he had met when she was visiting the US. In accordance with local customs the prospective groom must be accompanied by his own family members laden down with gifts when he goes to his potential father-in-law to ask for her hand.
These preparations take up most of the morning as they visit the tailors to get dressed in their new suits, pick up roses at the florist and then a basket of cognac, and a tray of cookies before they can pay the arranged call. Although the father is cold and unwelcoming at first, he warms up enough to grant his permission.
The second part of the day involves a long hard drive to the Iranian border for a reason that has been very subtly hinted at occasionally, but cannot be revealed for fear of ruining the climax of this compelling and excellent film. The story demands and deserves patience and full credit to Oureh for the way that he let it gently unfold into what is one of the most surprising delights playing the Film Festival circuit right now. It so deserves to find the widest audience possible, even though the sad thing is that under this present Government’s outrageous Muslim Ban, Oureh may never be able to be present for any of the screenings.