Iran | 2022 | 107 min. | Mani Haghighi

In this dystopian psychological thriller from Iranian filmmaker Mani Haghighi (2018’s Pig), a young couple discovers their doppelgängers living on the side of Tehran. But the resemblance is only physicalin other ways they are very, very different…

"[L]iving in a theocracy splits you in two. You must become two people to survive. A private life, and a public mask. The split seeps into the narrowest crevices of your life, and your every cell produces a simulacrum of itself: a copy that looks just like you. You produce this copy to protect yourself from the brutality around you, but it can turn against you and destroy you."Director Mani Haghighi, director's statement for Subtraction

In this dystopian psychological thriller, Farzaneh (Taraneh Alidoosti, The Salesman, About Elly), a young driving instructor, spots her husband on a rainy Tehran street. When she follows him, he goes to a strange apartment where he is welcomed by another woman. In the midst of a difficult pregnancy, Farzaneh is struggling with hallucinations and suspects her husband may be living a double life. But when she confronts him, she discovers a much stranger explanation. The young couple have found their doppelgängers, clones of themselves living on the other side of town. But the resemblance is only physical. In other ways they are very, very different, which becomes apparent when circumstances force them to confront each other—and themselves. Alidoosti was arrested (and subsequently released) following an online expression of solidarity with the ongoing nationwide protests in Iran. Haghighi had his passport confiscated as he was boarding a plane to present the film at the London Film Festival, and has been barred from leaving the country.

Justine Barda

  • Original Language Title: Tafrigh
  • Director: Mani Haghighi
  • Principal Cast: Taraneh Alidoosti, Navid Mohammadzadeh, Esmail Poor-Reza, Farham Azizi
  • Country: Iran, France
  • Year: 2022
  • Running Time: 107 min.
  • Producer: Majid Motalebi
  • Screenplay: Amir Reza Koohestani, Mani Haghighi
  • Cinematographers: Morteza Najafi
  • Editors: Meysam Molaei
  • Music: Ramin Kousha
  • Website: Official Film Website
  • Awards: Belgrad Auteur Film Festival 2022 (Best Script)
  • Filmography: Pig (2018), 50 Kilos of Sour Cherries (2017), A Dragon Arrives! (2016), Modest Reception (2012), Men at Work (2006), Abadan (2003)
  • Language: Farsi
  • Has Subtitles: Yes
  • International Sales: Films Boutique