This empowering story of self-sacrifice and a riveting fight against the odds takes place in northern Tehran. Arash Lahooti’s Orange Days showcases an inspiring performance from Hadieh Tehrani as a woman struggling to prove her worth in a man’s world.
Aban, an overworked contractor in her forties, is dead set on outbidding her male competitor Kazem to harvest, with her crew of seasonal female workers, the largest orange orchard in the region. Tough as nails and proudly self-sufficient, she wins the tender by going so far as to put up her house as collateral. But she soon finds herself doing damage control when it feels like the entire operation is being sabotaged at every step of the way. First, unpaid workers threaten to go on strike. Then a mysterious break-in robs her of the first harvest. On top of that, her distracted husband (Ali Mosaffa) seems no longer willing to recognize her efforts in maintaining their household. With everything unravelling, Aban will have to give up her shielded stoicism and her illusion of control and put her faith in the goodwill of providence.
Working from a finely tuned script co-written with Jamileh Darolshafaie, Lahooti crafts a portrait of pithy endurance, visible in every assured gesture of Tehrani’s performance. Standing shoulder to shoulder with the finest works of cinema from Iran’s established auteurs, Orange Days is an absorbing drama inspiring us to battle through life’s challenges without losing track of our loved ones or ourselves.
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