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Offside (2007)

 PG |  DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

List Price: $30.99
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Product Details

  • Format: AC-3, Color, Dolby, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: Farsi
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 encoding (US and Canada only)
    PLEASE NOTE:
    Some Region 1 DVDs may contain Regional Coding Enhancement (RCE). Some, but not all, of our international customers have had problems playing these enhanced discs on what are called "region-free" DVD players. For more information on RCE, click .
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
  • Studio: Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2007
  • Run Time: 93 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000S0GYD4
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,996 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Offside" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Who is that strange boy sitting quietly in the corner of a bus full of screaming fans going to the football match? In fact, this shy boy is a girl in disguise. She is not alone; women also love football in Iran. Before the game begins, she is arrested at the checkpoint and put into a holding pen by the stadium with a band of other women all dressed up as men. They will be handed over to the vice squad after the match. But before this, they will be tortured -- they must endure every cheer, every shout of a game they cannot see. Worse yet, they must listen to the play-by-play account of a soldier who knows nothing about football. Yet, these young girls just won’t give up. They use every trick in the book to see the match.

Jafar Panahi’s films are often described as Iranian neo-realism. Although all of his films, including Offside, have been banned by Iran, he continues to make movies which explore the very human side of the conflicts in his native country. In the case of Offside, he used a fake name and false papers in order to get permission to shoot at an actual soccer match in Iran. As a result, Offside has a documentary feel which captures the very real humor and determination of the Iranian women – and men – who love soccer and are willing to go to extreme lengths for the opportunity to cheer on the home team. The DVD includes an interview with Panahi.


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars a triumph of movie naturalism January 6, 2008
Format:DVD
****1/2

In Iran, women are not permitted to attend men's sporting events, apparently to "protect" them from all the cursing and foul language they might hear emanating from the male fans (so since men can`t restrain or behave themselves, women are forced to suffer. Go figure.). "Offside" tells the tale of a half dozen or so young women who, dressed like men, attempt to sneak into the high-stakes match between Iran and Bahrain that, in 2005, qualified Iran to go to the World Cup (the movie was actually filmed in large part during that game).

"Offside" is a slice-of-life comedy that will remind you of all those great humanistic films ("The Shop on Main Street," "Loves of a Blonde," "Closely Watched Trains" etc.) that flowed out of Communist Czechoslovakia as part of the "Prague Miracle" in the mid 1960's. As with many of those works, "Offside" is more concerned with observing life than with devising any kind of elaborately contrived fictional narrative. Indeed, it is the simplicity of the setup and the naturalism of the style that make the movie so effective.

Once their ruse is discovered, the girls are corralled into a small pen right outside the stadium where they can hear the raucous cheering emanating from the game inside. Stuck where they are, all they can do is plead with the security guards to let them go in, guards who are basically bumbling, good-natured lads who are compelled to do their duty as a part of their compulsory military service. Even most of the men going into the stadium don't seem particularly perturbed at the thought of these women being allowed in. Still the prohibition persists.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film about Sexism and Soccer in Iran September 22, 2007
Format:DVD
This film should not only have been released in Iran, but also should be seen the world over. I watched it with a friend of mine who was born in Iran and had told me all Iranian films were dark and depressing; to our delight, this one was colorful and funny. It consists in a series of exchanges between girls passionate about soccer - but banned from seeing their home team play the game that will ultimately take them to the World Cup - and their captors, miltary policemen who share the girls' football-fever but must keep them held like cattle in a pen. The premise, of course, is a metaphor for the plight of women in Iran. But rather than take a didactic or overtly political stance, the director brings out the comedy in the situation. As the scenes unfold we see these dim-witted soldiers overrun by the young girls' determination, leaving us with a sense that these ancient Iranian rules are an emotional burden on modern Iranians, who in this case just want to band together and celebrate. The film also suggests, bravely, that perhaps the love of sport is somehow more important than devotion to ancient cultural tradition. While we in America have the luxury of bemoaning our culture's preoccupation with things like basketball and football, this film challenges us to consider that there might be something more meaningful in the ways we as people come together under the banner of our favorite teams. And that maybe that something has everything to do with fundamental human liberty.
But perhaps best of all, this film ends perfectly. The final scene is simple, powerful, and uplifting. I give it 5 out of 5.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD
Director Jafar Panahi was inspired to write "Offside" by his own daughter's ability to slip in to a stadium to watch a soccer match with her father in Iran, where women and girls are not allowed to attend men's sports events. "Offside" focuses on a group of young women who disguise themselves as men to attend Iran's 2005 World Cup qualifying match against Bahrain in Tehran. Panahi was already on the outs with Iran's Ministry of Guidance, so he submitted a false script and director to the authorities and filmed on location with non-professional actors, including the day of the real match. Unfortunately, "Offside" was not able to get a release in Iran, but it did extremely well on black market DVD.

The excitement in Tehran is palpable as a legion of soccer fans anticipate the big match that may send Iran to the World Cup. Buses bring thousands of fans to Tehran's Azadi stadium, among them some dedicated female fans who disguise themselves as men to get in. One young woman, a first-timer with an unconvincing disguise, is caught by the military police and taken to a holding area with other busted women. The women beg and badger their guards to report on the game, heatedly debate soccer strategy, stage the occasional escape, and argue the laws that have put them there with their chief guard, a put-upon but protective man who would rather be back on his farm.

"Offside" unfolds nearly in real time for the 90-minute duration of the game. I was struck by the simplicity of the plot. Half a dozen young women wait, argue, and try to catch glimpses of the game. Nothing happens. "Offside" elaborates on very simple scenes, elucidating the characters of the women and their guards, all of whom are sympathetic and suffering from an absurd situation.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Enlightening and entertaining without being preachy.
I had misunderstood what the movie was about. I thought it was about a team of female soccer players who were not allowed to play. Not so. Read more
Published 25 days ago by Santa Barbara Yann
5.0 out of 5 stars Thank you
I am so glad I ordered this DVD. It was in good condition and was shipped promptly. It was a moving story I would watch again. I am pleased with the price too. Read more
Published 11 months ago by Zareen Noory
5.0 out of 5 stars FANTASTIC
One of the best movies I've seen in a long time. Congrats to Mr. Panahi and the rest of the crew -- incredible job. Read more
Published 13 months ago by Reza Ganjavi
4.0 out of 5 stars Review of Offside
This is a good movie. It works on a number of different levels to get at gender and social issues in modern Iran. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Rachel T. Howes
4.0 out of 5 stars who says sports aren't important?
Although this movie is making a political and social statement about how stupid the gender laws are in Iran, it is also one of the few movies in my lifetime made that truly show... Read more
Published on December 9, 2011 by Brian Maitland
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite near to 4 stars actually
I got this based on the favourable reviews and the fact that all of my friends who had heard of it said that it is reckoned to be very good. Read more
Published on April 12, 2011 by Tommy Dooley
4.0 out of 5 stars WHEN 'TORTURE' IS HEARING BUT NOT SEEING!
It's 2005 in Tehran and Iran is playing Bahrain for the chance to advance to the World Cup. There are 100,000 spectators cheering on the Iranian team. Read more
Published on June 26, 2010 by Loves To Read
4.0 out of 5 stars The Football Curtain in Iran
Iran has been in the news again the last few days because of continuing unrest over what appeared to be a rigged election. Read more
Published on December 28, 2009 by Sanpete
4.0 out of 5 stars Penalties off the playing field . . .
Banned in his own country, filmmaker Jafar Panahi attempts here, and in a previous film "The Circle," to decry the oppression of women in his homeland, Iran. Read more
Published on December 31, 2008 by Ronald Scheer
5.0 out of 5 stars Brave, Intelligent Women Seek To Challenge The Iranian Status Quo
Jafar Panahi's "Offside" is a simple but powerful film. It involves several different young women who have been placed in a roped off "security area" for attempting to sneak into a... Read more
Published on December 12, 2007 by Chris Luallen
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