The enigma of Iran-a country, much like America, where an extremist leader is disdained by many citizens-is on full-frontal display in the film Offside, Jafar Panahi’s “comedy” about women trying to watch their national soccer team in a males-only stadium. It shows at UCSB’s Campbell Hall on Wednesday, July 25, at 7:30 p.m.
1) Entertainment: You’ll laugh at the women’s disguises, cheer for them when they try to escape the clutches of security, and revel in their passion for their team, even if it represents the regime that oppresses them.
2) Insight: You realize it’s not just chauvinist, totalitarian impulses that keep women at home and behind chadors. You’ll see the men fear for their female counterparts’ safety, saying such things as, “I won’t let you go into that crowd of men. You could be my sister.”
3) Sympathy: As much as you feel for the women, you also sympathize with the guards holding them captive, for much like our own American soldiers, they’d rather be home.