Turquoise by Roozbeh Misaghi reviewed by Will Mitten

Turquoise: Life in a rural Iranian village is turned upside down by a rumour that there is a box of treasure, hidden somewhere in the village which promises to make its finder rich and prosperous.

The normally placid and agrarian life of the villagers is subverted by an increasingly dark obsession with ever elusive treasure. Misaghi’s film has a stunning visual aesthetic lends itself to the narrative about corruption, greed and betrayal that is reminiscent of Huston’s Treasures of Sierra Madre and the work of the Coen Brother’s creating a delightful synthesis of these two pillars of cinema and creating a scintillating film.

In this regard, Misaghi’s cinematic style is one of great restraint as all of the violence of the film appears out of view and uses the faces of the actors to truly convey the horror of this violence. A prime example of Misaghi’s excellent technique when dealing with violence occurs when the villagers take the house and there is medium close up of the wife’s face through broken window as they force their way into the house as she is pulled away from the window we see only the touches as we cut to her sitting with her husband and son’s dead bodies. This scene sums up the overall message of the film that this all consuming greed only leads to death and devastation. In conclusion, the narrative of the film may be derivative of previous films of this ilk, the films setting and aesthetic of this tiny Iranian village creates a wholly original film that is a must see for any lovers of noir or genre cinema.

TURQUOISE screens on Friday 10th November at The Edinburgh Short Film Festival