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Film screening: Subtraction


From 22 September 2023




Garage Auditorium
Age limit — 16+


An intriguing thriller from independent Iranian director Mani Haghighi. The premiere took place in the Platform program at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2022.

Tehran. Farzaneh works as a driving instructor and is married to Jalal. The couple are about to become parents. During a lesson, Farzaneh thinks she saw her husband in a crowd, about to get on a bus, although at that time he should not have been in the city. Following him, she sees that he meets and has a long conversation with a woman she doesn’t know. The man Farzaneh followed, who is identical to Jalal, and the woman who she saw through a window are not who they seem. They are doubles, ideal copies.

Mani Hahighi creates a space of slow emotional tension on screen. It is expressed through Tehran’s endless rain and a growing secrecy in the relationships of the four characters. The appearance of a double is considered a bad sign. Meeting their copies reveals dark zones in the relationships of both couples and the mistrust and misunderstanding between them comes to the fore. Farzaneh and Jalal, who have almost exchanged partners with their doppelgangers, begin to experiment with living an alternative version of their life. Taraneh Alidoosti and Navid Mohammadzadeh, who play the lead roles, play their characters with extreme constraint combined with infatuation, which underlines the painfulness of the moment.

The duality of the characters is a synonym for life in Iran. Private and public, obvious and hidden, permitted and forbidden. These social dichotomies become the reason for personal division, which in Subtraction becomes the grotesque appearance of physical doubles. The social critique is linked to the biography of director Mani Highaghi, one of Iran’s key auteur filmmakers. Like his compatriot Jafar Panahi, who has been persecuted by the authorities, he had no official permission for his debut film and shot it from the window of a car. And in 2022, Haghighi was removed from a flight to London, where he was due to present Subtraction at the London Film Festival and was barred from leaving Iran.

The film will be shown in Persian with Russian subtitles.

Director Mani Haghighi
Iran, France, 2022. 107 min. 18+


Standard: 350 RUB
Student: 250 RUB*

 Garage Cardholders: 175 RUB.


Concessions for pensioners, veterans, large families and visitors with disabilities (with one carer): 175 RUB**

We recommend that you buy tickets in advance. All ticket categories are available online.

* For students of 18 to 25 years old with student ID
** Please bring proof of eligibility