Watch Kids' Reviews of
SANIL, THE

What to know:
SANIL, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
Recommended age 12-18
10 minutes
VIDEO
MOHAMMAD TORIVARIAN
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SANIL, THE is in the KIDS FIRST! Film Festival - it may not be a regular, endorsed title
see juror comments
It's scary to have to run from authorities. This film conveys the immense stress felt by people trying to flee their country in a clandestine fashion. Right away it made me sympathize with the anxiety of the young people who are running through the rugged mountain terrain. The danger of getting caught at any moment kept me at the edge of my seat. The question of gender identity and gender discrimination carries throughout the film. The audience is left wondering if the character wearing a hat is a young female in disguise or an actual hermaphrodite. We keep waiting to find out this character's secret. Cultural issues such as loud arguments and insistence on religious customs are brought to light. There is a strong ambiance of pending violence and invasion of personal privacy. One problem with this production is that the English subtitles are displayed a bit too quickly, corresponding to the rapid pace of the action in this tense, nerve-wracking film. At times, it's difficult to keep up with the narrative, unless you can read very quickly. My favorite part is when one of the male refugees switches from one pair of eyeglasses to another pair of goofy eyeglasses, then sprays what looks like cologne on his neck. Is he expecting to become a Hollywood star or comedian in the middle of the Iranian mountains? The message is that powerful religious customs and traditions can make life very confusing for young people. It takes a lot of courage to defy these ideologies. This film would play well in a film festival geared towards older teens and adults as it brings up issues that younger kids would not quite understand. I rate this film 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 10 to 18, as well as adults. Reviewed by Jeff M., KIDS FIRST! Juror.
Three young Iranian boys along with a smuggler are clandestinely smuggling across the Iran-Turkey border. The smuggler only passes masculines through the border. In the middle of the way, he suddenly realizes that one of the passengers is hermaphrodite.
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