About Elly (Darbareye Elly)

Dir: Asghar Farhadi (2009)


2012’s Oscar winner for best foreign language film, “A Separation” introduced a phenomenal new talent to the world in director Asghar Farhadi. The good news is that Farhadi has been making quietly brilliant cinema for over a decade. And these films are slowly making their way onto a wider stage.

2009’s About Elly is a perfect case in point. A group of friends leave Tehran for a long weekend on the Caspian Sea. A young nursery teacher named Elly is invited along to join the good friends and family. The reason is soon made apparent. She’s being set-up with a recently divorced man.

What seems simple on the surface rarely is in a Farhadi film, and over an easy-going holiday, tensions rise until a crisis point is triggered, and Elly goes missing. A mystery develops and as the drama heightens, Farhadi zooms in on the issues inherent in truth, lies, and the places in between. What is the truth About Elly?


Director: Asghar Farhadi

Year: 2009

Language: Persian (with English subtitles)

Run Time: 119 min

Rating: PG (Mild themes, violence and course language)

“Outstanding…superbly acted, morally challenging, packed with legitimate suspense, this is film-making of a high order.”

- Philip French, The Observer

★ “A really absorbing picture, powerfully acted, disturbing and suspenseful. Anyone who admired A Separation will want to see it…a fascinating psychological drama.”

- Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian

"It's an incisive portrait of a particular society, but it should resonate everywhere."

Walter V. Addiego, San Francisco Chronicle

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