starring Hussein Emadeddin, Kamyar Sheissi, Azita Rayeji, Shahram Vaziri
screenplay by Abbas Kiarostami
directed by Jafar Panahi
by Bill Chambers Those planning on taking in Roland Emmerich's The Day After Tomorrow this weekend solely to judge the credibility of its disaster-movie hijinks would be better off buying a ticket to its competition in several North American markets, Jafar Panahi's Crimson Gold (Talaye sorkh), in which a scenario of inevitable, cyclical doom unfolds with astonishing veracity. The shooting of a jewellery-store owner by a thief who turned the gun on himself inspired master filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami to reverse-engineer the thief's motives in a screenplay written specifically for his former assistant director Panahi, fresh from the bittersweet triumph of The Circle. (Widely acclaimed everywhere, it was banned in his native Iran.) Some details specific to Iran's theocracy notwithstanding (a party is raided by police because men and women are dancing together), Crimson Gold is arguably a more globally inclusive film than The Circle, as it deals with the insidious threat of classism that on some level affects us all.