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  • Writer's pictureDorsa Sajedi

Lunch Time | Short Film (Brief) Review

An Iranian girl tries to enter a hospital morgue to identify her mother's body.
This blogpost includes spoilers.

A 15-year-old girl is forced by her brother to go scavenge her mother's corpse for anything 'useful'.

This film says a lot, and is definitely hard to watch at some points. As an Iranian myself, I didn't need the subtitles - I read the comments a little and realised that there was some confusion over who the man at the end was, whether it was a random man or her husband or her brother, but it is indeed her brother because she says "our mum" not "my mum" to him.

The girl's performance was immaculate and powerful.

One of the first questions you ask is "how did she get the black eye?" She tells them that she fell at school, but we all know that isn't true because she hesitates before giving that answer. My expectations were definitely subverted when we were shown the corpse as I felt anxious that she would get caught (an efficient structure/build up of tension is present here). A part that really 'hit me' was when she reached for her mothers hands to hold them. They both have matching red nail polish that has rubbed off in time. You can tell that they must have done their nails together recently, but now she is gone.

I personally wasn't sure why she was trying to get her mother's teeth, but I noticed that in the comments some had mentioned the potential of her having gold fillings. I suppose when shown to a wider audience outside of Iran, there definitely are a lot of unanswered questions due to cultural differences. The only thing I understood (because I am aware of it) was the male-female dynamic, and how older brothers or men have power over women and can control them as they please - both in the law, and in their society. Thus, she is unable to pick up the piece of paper that would let them retrieve their mother's body after the brother scrunches it up on the floor - he practically 'owns' her.

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