The Lizard

An agile thief (Parviz Parastoie) escapes from an Iranian prison in the stolen garb of an Islamic cleric, but while he’s waiting to secure a passport he begins to draw followers, and the ensuing complications make him wonder whether prison was so bad after all. With its earthy, populist blasphemy, this satire by Kamal Tabrizi won the audience prize at the Fajr film festival and was subsequently banned, though neither development should come as any surprise. Most of the laughs are pretty obvious, but a few gags (a television cleric holding forth on the religious wisdom of Pulp Fiction) are endearingly wacky. In Farsi with subtitles. 115 min. (JR)

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