PALM SPRINGS SHORTFEST REVIEW! Azadeh Moussavi’s The Visit is just one of those heartbreaking stories of the victims of political persecution featuring a child actor giving an equally heartbreaking performance.
Taking place in modern-day Iran, Elahe is getting ready to visit her husband, whom she hasn’t seen in six months. He is a political prisoner indefinitely incarcerated for his “crimes.”
Elahe and her daughter Tara were given short notice that they could visit her husband, and the two quickly prepare for the meeting. Preparation for the two includes taking a photo portrait as a gift and memento, finding the proper dressing for a woman to visit the prison, and addressing Tara’s fear as she hides every time the doorbell rings.
A surprise is in store for the pair when they arrive at the prison in this “based on real events” story.
“…getting ready to visit her husband…a political prisoner indefinitely incarcerated for his ‘crimes.’”
Writer/director Moussavi adeptly tells the story of families of political prisoners all around the world—a future we may be facing ourselves. The story is impressive and looks grounded and professional. But honestly, the little girl who plays Tara hits all the hard notes in her performance. She’s cute, has the daughter role nailed down, and her expressions of fear and anxiety are too perfect. I hesitate to ask if she’s really acting at all.
Moussavi’s The Visit is one of those tales you hate to tell. When governments treat their citizens like ants crushed under each footstep, these stories have to come out—not just for the prisoners but for their families as well.
The Visit screened at the 2020 Palm Springs Shortfest.
"…her expressions of fear and anxiety are too perfect."