One of the best social comments to come out of global cinema , about the status of women in 'sport and society', this Iranian movie really rejoices in ordinary humanity and the kindness of ordinary human beings to each other despite the restraints of the beaureucracy .
The relationship which develops between the women spectators caught by the army soldiers who are posted at the football stadium ,in a bid to stop all women trying to illicitly enter the football match, is both extra-ordinary and shows the resilience of the great Iranian people ,shown to have a mind of their own even when under threat from higher authorities .
The movie is a satire on the sexual segregation imposed by religious hierarchy which forbids the mingling of the two sexes in a public place and here it is a national event which is an esteemed international football match which is a symbol of national esteem and patriotic spirit .
In short this movie becomes a great socio-political commentary on the Iranian milieu but also a very optimistic and entertaining movie about the morality and behaviour of the iranian character,where the victims and perpetrators enter into a delightful collaboration that is a sign of sexual vulnerability as well as human nature depicted at it's best .
The fact that they all care so much about each other as individuals even when pitched on opposite sides is extremely touching and heart -warming .
There is a patriotic element to the movie but the human element exceeds that and makes it on the mark rather than off it.
The most humorous part is set in the men's toilets in the stadium , where Panahi shoots a terrific scene which hints at both 'homosexual social phobias' and the plight of the disabled individuals forced to use ordinary toilets not adapted for specialised facilities .
Also the minimalist technique with neo-realistic camera-work makes it look totally believable, and this is great art by any criteria .