Freedom Is a Human Right

A suspenseful tale of love and family upended by obsession and suspicion, Circumstance is also a provocative coming-of-age story that cracks open the hidden, underground world of Iranian youth culture, where a young woman's most electrifying passions can become the most dangerous of secrets.

The Audience Award winner at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, writer-director Maryam Keshavarz's debut feature boldly takes filmgoers inside a modern Iran rarely witnessed by outsiders: an exhilarating, invisible realm of illicit parties where young hipsters risk arrest, and their futures, as they experiment with sex, drugs and defiance, all while trying to evade the authorities.

The Critics Have Spoken

"Stirringly sensual. Grade: A-" —Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

"SUPREMELY CINEMATIC…There's genuine heat emanating from Circumstance. Maryam Keshavarz's stylish cry of outrage against Iran's criminalization of all things youthful: music, dancing, romance—the gateway drugs of intellectual adulthood." —John Anderson, Wall Street Journal

"Swirling and sensuous. Ripples with the indignant energy of youthful rebellion…it has undeniable topical resonance. Ms. Keshavarz's feature directorial debut revels in her own sense of freedom, constructing scenes that pulse with sexual energy...undeniable power and conviction." —A.O. Scott, The New York Times

"Provocative and taboo-busting. Keshavarz is clearly willing to take risks on all fronts. More power to her. Kazemy and Boosheri are excellent." —Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times

Follow the struggle of those removed from their homeland in TakePart's "Artists in Exile" series.