Synopsis & Film Details

Many Iranian girls love soccer as much as their countrymen and sports fans all over the world but, they are prevented by law from attending live soccer matches in their country. Inspired by the day when his own daughter was refused entry to a soccer stadium in Iran, Jafar Panahi’s OFFSIDE follows a day in the life of a group of Iranian girls attempting to watch their team’s World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain at the stadium in Tehran.

Directed by Jafar Panahi
Written by Jafar Panahi & Shadmehr Rastin
In Farsi, with English subtitles
Iran, 2007
88 minutes, Rated PG

Critic Reviews

The film’s rich, pointed comedy arises from the sense that men and women alike are trapped in an absurd, insoluble predicament.

A.O. Scott, New York Times

The great virtue of Offside is that it never degenerates into an us-versus-them situation. [Director Pahani] understands that a repressive system victimizes the oppressors as much as the oppressed.

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times

The story is good-natured, but Panahi’s message is serious: That ludicrous rules turn Iranian women into third-class citizens. And what better way is there to get that point across than through sports and laughter?

V.A. Musetto, New York Post