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Review: Minor accident triggers major woes in ‘No Date’

December 15, 2018

A question of guilt hangs over the messy-while-methodical Iranian film “No Date, No Signature.” It’s a question that eventually ruins lives, a marriage and career, yet there’s no easy answer to be had in a world of mistrust, privilege and vengeance.

Dr. Kaveh Nariman (Amir Aghaee), a medical examiner, is driving home from work on the highway one night when a speeding car cuts him off. Nariman pulls to the right and then sees a motor scooter go tumbling off to the side of the road.

It’s not even clear that Nariman hit the scooter, but he pulls over to help anyway. The scooter had been carrying angry husband Moosa (Navid Mohammadzadeh), wife Leila (Zakieh Behbahani), and their children, a baby girl and young son, all in a precarious pile.

Nariman checks out the family — the boy has a bump at the back of his head, but seems fine — then decides not to call authorities because of insurance hassles. Instead, he gives Moosa a bundle of cash for scooter repairs and to take the boy to an emergency room. He drives off, they drive off, although he notices they don’t stop at an emergency room.

The next day he comes into work and discovers the young boy’s body awaiting an autopsy. What happened?

Nothing simple, as it turns out. And for the balance of the film Nariman, Moosa and Leila all find themselves entangled in events and circumstances, helpless within a system and in controlling their own lives.

But then writer-director Vahid Jalilvand knows control is an illusion, in Iran, America or wherever. “No Date, No Signature” looks at the mean chaos of life and sighs in sadness and exasperation.

’No Date, No

Signature’

GRADE: B

Not rated

Running time: 144 minutes

At the Detroit Film Theatre