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Atafeh and her brother, Mehran, have grown up privileged, in a home filled with music, art, and intellectual curiosity. While Atafeh dreams of fame and adventure, and she and her best friend, Shireen, explore Tehran's underground scene with youthful exuberance and determination to be themselves, her brother returns home from drug rehab, renounces his former decadent life, and replaces his once obsessive practice of classical music with more destructive pursuits. -- (C) Roadside Attractions

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 86%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The content feels familiar, but the perspective is fresh."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"About a sexy, frank and politically contentious Iranian film, two things can be known for a certainty: (a) It sure wasn't made in Iran and (b) It won't be shown there either."
‑ Rick Groen, Globe and Mail
"Circumstance may miss out on making a truly startling political point, but it is a thoroughly enjoyable and tautly executed tale of young love, forbidden fruit and the world previous generations leave behind for us."
‑ Emma Thrower, HeyUGuys
"Crude and predictable but nevertheless affecting ..."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"A lush, insightful drama exploring the tensions beneath the implacable face of modern Iran."
‑ Allan Hunter, Daily Express
"Keshavarz, who was born in New York City and grew up in the U.S. and Iran, shows us how young people in Tehran get around the constrictive system..."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"[The] film is too much a wounded love story to slide into polemic."
‑ Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post
"Takes an even-handed approach that never preaches, presenting a resonant side of Iran's society that we have never before seen on screen"
‑ Rich Cline,
"Keshavarz's film is both sensuous and audacious if a little uneven."
‑ Derek Malcolm, This is London
"Keshavarz uses a trowel to feed us her ideas about living under a repressive regime when all you required was a teaspoon. But she has enough promise to keep you curious for her next offering - if she can just get a lighter grip on the ladle."
‑ Catherine Shoard, Guardian
"We never doubt the sincerity of the emotions on display, or of the foretaste Circumstance provides of a society on the brink of radical change."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"Both Boosheri and Kazemy are newcomers, but their spirited, tender performances -- from the eroticism to the shame and the flights of freedom -- feel completely, devastatingly real."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"Circumstance bravely depicts the political plight of independent young women in Iran, a timely and worthwhile subject somewhat let down by two-dimensional storytelling."
‑ Eddie Harrison, The List
"Freed from the constraints of Iranian censorship, Keshavarz authentically portrays young life in Tehran with parties, drugs, underground art and a defiant sexuality"
‑ Rich Cline, Shadows on the Wall
"Bold, haunting and moving; an excellent feature debut."
‑ Ashley Clark, Little White Lies
More reviews for Circumstance on Rotten Tomatoes

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