Cast: Farhad Aslani, Houman Kiai, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Parinaz Izadyar, Payman Maadi
Official Selection, 2019 Venice Film Festival
Audience Award, 2019 Fajr Film Festival
Best Director, Best Actor, 2019 Tokyo International Film Festival
Fast-talking, sardonic, and morally ambiguous narcotics cop Samad (Payman Maadi) is a proverbial bloodhound hot on the scent of a young and notorious drug kingpin Nasser Khakzad (Navid Mohammadzadeh). From shaking down low level street users and pushers, to busting middle men distributors and mules, Samad and his team use every weapon at their disposal–threats, intimidation, detention, and coercion–to find their man, which they do quite efficiently after blackmailing Nasser’s ex-wife. Failing a suicide attempt in his penthouse hot tub, Nasser wakes to find himself in jail, crammed tightly with other prisoners–most of whom, in a fell swoop of irony, are the impoverished addicts that fund his lavish lifestyle. It is in the claustrophobia of the holding cells, cramped hallways, and banal courtrooms that the drama metaphorically unfolds. Tensions and tempers run high between the prisoners and their jailers, Nasser and his accomplices, and Samad and his teammates. Ever present, though at times obfuscated by the flurry of activity and dialogue between characters, lies the ever-widening gap between the justice system and justice.
Breaking box office records in an Iranian film market dominated by comedies, JUST 6.5 is a stunning accomplishment for budding filmmaker Saeed Roustaee. Building upon themes of his Life +1 Day, JUST 6.5 maps a contemporary Iranian socio-political topography onto international silver screens. In light of a political climate in which art and film are two of the few conduits for cultural understanding and communication between Iranian and American nationals, JUST 6.5 illustrates that the struggle for social justice, irrespective of political or religious systems, is universal.
Co-Presented by Persian Cultural Center