Title: Incompleteness

Directed by: Atefeh Saboor

Produced by: Mohammad Sasan

Writer: Mehdi Asadzade

Cinematography: Ali Momeni, Atefeh Saboor

Editor: Meghdad Shahed

Length: 54 minutes

Year: 2022


Romina is a young Iranian woman struggling to escape the confines of Tehran and her tense relationship with her mother. Through a series of melancholic monologues, she conveys her profound desire to break free and start a new life abroad. However, as external forces conspire against her, Romina descends into isolation and despair.

The film opens with Romina yearning for a cigarette to collect her racing thoughts. She was planning to leave Iran with her friend Soheil, who promised to take her to Canada. But as the day of departure neared, Soheil revealed he couldn’t afford the journey due to soaring currency rates. Romina is left directionless – she can’t bear returning to her stifling domestic life.

Spending her days drifting between her friend Niloo’s home and various cafes, Romina grows increasingly unstable. She tries securing funds illegally, even considering selling her kidney, but anxiety overwhelms her. Romina’s tumultuous relationship with her mother lies at the heart of her unhappiness. Her mother disapproves of her lifestyle and they frequently clash.

In her isolation, Romina confides invisible figures about her doomed escape plan. Soheil was merely a friend, not a lover, representing a portal to a freer life. With her university admission abroad on the cusp of expiring and her mother stubbornly opposed to assisting her, Romina sinks into despair. She walks the streets for hours on end to avoid her sterile home.

In the final, gut-wrenching scene, Romina rushes to the airport to farewell Soheil, but he has already departed. She is utterly deflated, feeling that forces beyond her control have conspired to keep her tethered. Yet as Romina disappears into the crowds, she vows that she will break free for good one day.