The Hunter

Release Date 29 Oct 2010 29 Mar 2011

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Certificate: 15A

Genre: Drama

Ex-con Ali (Rafi Pitts) works as a nightwatchman to support his wife and young daughter. Returning home to find them both missing, his life is shattered, and the relentless pursuit of retribution becomes his final obsession. As director and actor, Pitts' work is outstanding. Revolving around his own magnetic central performance, The Hunter is a powerful thriller that lingers in the mind long after the last gunshot rings out.

Rafi Pitts | Mitra Hajjar | Sara Kamrani | Amir Ayoubi | Ossta Shah Tir | Hossein Nickbakht | Manoochehr Rahimi | Hassan Ghalenoi | Fatemeh Alijani | Malek Jahan Khazai

Rafi Pitts


Rafi Pitts

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  • Currently 3/5 Stars. Critic Review

Tehran, leading up to the 2009 presidential elections, and factory security guard Ali (Pitts) is refused a change from nightshift, having argued that he wanted see his wife (Hajjar) and young daughter (Yaghoobi) more. His recent prison stint is cited as the reason. Feeling already disconnected and discontent in a town that seemingly never sleeps but constantly screams with traffic, the killing of his wife in a shoot-out between police and rebels - and the later discovery that his daughter had perished too - pushes Ali over the edge. Using his hunting rifle to assassinate two random police officers, Ali is later captured on the run in the wilds, but he soon finds himself lost in the woods with two bickering arresting officers.

THE VERDICT: Having secured his shooting permit in the optimism that preceded Iran's 2009 presidential election, filmmaker Rafi Pitts knows it's a permit he wouldn't have secured after incumbent Ahmadinejad's contested victory. This is a film that plays like a silent scream, its largely mute anti-hero hardly ever saying a word, even when he's mad as hell, and he can't take it anymore. It makes for a strangely muted film too, full of dark corners, sharp edges, lego high-rises, and deafening white noise. A car chase alongside misty mountain roads is wonderful, and if the ensuing prisoner-and-escort through the woods never quite reaches the Buscemi-directed Sopranos episode Pine Barrens, it still has its moments.

Review by Paul Byrne 

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