Border Café, filmed in 2005 in Iran portrays a widow's challenge to care for herself and her two children. Her battle is with a culture that is not hers and a brother-in-law who fears dishonor.
When her husband dies suddenly, Reyhan is left with a café on the Turkish border. Through familial and cultural obligations, her brother-in-law, Nasser demands that Reyhan become his second wife and he will provide financially.
She resists their cultural traditions and remains determined to become independent and raise the children. She defies Nasser's request to build her a house with him. And, she reopens her husband's café on the Turkish border. She must remain in the background, in the kitchen while another employee waits tables. The café, now a successful gathering place for truckers, competes with Nasser's restaurant closeby.
The characters are very well-acted. Nasser, always with a scowl on his face comes across as combative, frustrated, angry, and fearful of dishonoring his culture. As with good character roles and portrayals, we learn to hate him. The character Reyhan is sweet and we strive for her independence, as we want her to succeed against tradition, culture and authorities. The movie was well-paced, and with its mild suspense, we wonder how often she can overcome those against her.
Director and writer Kambozia Parvoti wanted to share his belief that people can communicate regardless of traditions and culture. The film is about communication. Reyhan communicates and bonds with a teen girl from Russia who is hiding out at the café. Zakario, who is Greek communicates his desire for Reyhan even though they don't speak the same language.
This film is provided by Global Film Initiative, which has brought exceptional films that have made significant impact. A Discussion Guide PDF is available for your computer. You can learn more about Global Film Initiative and First Run Features for more outstanding cultural films. .....Rizzo