Exam is a short film about a teenage girl living in Iran who faces a difficult decision when she is forced to make a delivery of cocaine. Part of the problem is that she still goes to school and has an art exam later that day, so as well as the pressures from school she is also being forced to doing illegal activities by her father and expected to deal with it all by herself.
As the story continues and she goes to school, tensions mount as her teachers are suspicious of her activities, however due to some quick thinking she is able to deal with the situation as if she has been dealing with this kind of thing her entire life.
The lead actress does a great job, showing fear and also showing that this may not be the first time she’s had to deal with a situation such as this. She manages to do so with the calmness of a person forced to deal with something that is well beyond her years and when it comes down to the wire, the scene plays out keeping the audience on edge as to whether she will have to face the consequences of her actions.
The situation may seem outlandish considering the extreme strictness of the school and the situation that the main character finds herself. However, writer/director Sonia Hadad takes her inspiration from some real and personal experiences and manages to blend them together creating an atmosphere of an impossible situation from all sides that still manages to feel real despite the supposedly unique situation.
Tackling a subject that feels so grounded and simultaneously so unique could be so easily overlooked as fantastical, but that is what makes Exam such an interesting story. Before viewing Hadad’s short film, most of audiences may never have heard of such a thing happening, let alone ever considered that this kind of thing may even be happening for real.
As long as there are filmmakers given a voice to tell their stories and being able to say things that other filmmakers would shy away from, then perhaps the world will be more aware of things even if they don’t affect them directly.
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