Rooz Az No (Iran, 20 min)
Directed by: Navid Azad
Review By Nicole Kristel
Rooz Az No is an emotional film that follows a woman on a day that will change her life forever. Fariba is married and pregnant. While overjoyed about her pregnancy it is clear that her marriage is suffering. Their relationship, which exists solely on digital communication rather than face to face, is in tatters but not even that, could dampen her joy about her pregnancy. It becomes clear that the baby has been an issue between the couple as previous attempts to conceive have failed. While Fariba remains highly optimistic about her current pregnancy, her husband appears disheartened and angry at the idea of her seeing yet another gynecologist who he believes will inevitably tell her once again that she cannot carry a child.
Rooz Az No follows the struggles of a woman desperate to become a mother. The film starts with her rejoicing in her pregnancy only to have her world shattered during the silence of the ultrasound. Upon discovering her baby’s lack of a heartbeat the woman who only moments before had been so full of life becomes a shell of herself. She leaves in a daze, moving around but not really hearing or processing anything. She winds up in a car with a woman that picked her up outside the clinic. When she finally comes out of shock, she has a gut-wrenching breakdown in the arms of the strange woman. The film concludes with her returning home to her husband who is now excited about the baby. She does not tell him that there is something wrong and instead tearfully sings a lullaby she had earlier sang with so much joy. Arezoo Afshar is brilliant as Fariba and her performance carries the film. The mixture of intensity, naiveté and pure hope that make up Fariba’s character provide a beautifully executed, multi-dimensional character.
Rooz Az No, although a short film, successfully takes you on an emotional rollercoaster from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows.