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#61: The Broker

Directed by: Azadi Moghadam
2018 / 61 mins
Persian with English Subtitles

Official Selection, Hot Docs Film Festival
Official Selection, New Horizons Film Festival

Inside this traditional Iranian dating agency, the manager, Mrs. Sadri, and her female employees are determined to find their clients a husband — regardless of their personal feelings or preferences.

Shuffling through files and making agitated phone calls, they constantly remind their mortified customers that it’s the man who gets to choose and that a woman without a spouse doesn’t have an identity. Even a temporary marriage would be better than remaining unwed, they say. Which doesn’t mean these surprising brokers don’t harshly lecture their male clients as well, or that their conservative views don’t come with a good dose of humor — especially since two of them are, ironically, single.

Shot almost entirely inside the confines of their tiny office, The Broker conveys a sense of claustrophobia that mirrors many women’s situations and offers a shocking, tragicomic reminder that the fiercest agents of the patriarchy aren’t always men.