Doroshkechi (The Carriage Driver). 1971. Iran. Written and directed by Nosrat Karimi. With Shahla Riahi, Nosrat Karimi, Masoud Asadollahi. Digital preservation courtesy CNC - Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée. In Persian; English subtitles. 117 min.
Complications and hijinks ensue when the marriage of young lovers Morteza and Pouri becomes predicated on Morteza approving the marriage of his recently widowed mother to Pouri’s father. Nosrat Karimi’s film about “marriage Iranian style,” a kind of commedia all’iraniana, masterfully draws upon Italian pink neorealism, Iranian filmfarsi, and Czechoslovakian cinema—with the latter informing a dream sequence and a surprising use of animation thanks to Karimi’s education in Prague. Karimi offers a sharp, though good-hearted, critique of Iranian society, using its prejudices around namus (the virtue of the female members of the family) as a basis for comedy, and poking fun at such commonplace rituals as burials, marriage, and circumcision ceremonies.