It's Finally Here.
Marmulak (Lizard) - Mocking mullahs
(Banned in Iran - Now Available on VHS & DVD with great quality and English subtitles)

Uncensored version of this film is now available on DVD & VHS with English subtitles for $17.95

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A satirical snipe at the life of Iran's clergy, "Marmoulak" ("The Lizard"), has become a box office hit here after only narrowly making it through the Islamic republics scissor-wielding censors. Director Kamal Tabrizi's film begins with a daring prison escape by convicted thief and anti-hero Reza, jailed for life for being caught one too many times. Injured in a prison brawl and sent to the infirmary, Reza finds the robes and turban of a cleric and slips out of jail undetected. He then discovers the benefits of life as a holy man in the northwestern holy city of Mashhad, and keeps up his charade. What happens next is a moral transformation - the one aspect of the film that could at least please the most hardened clerics. After preaching in prisons and even at weekly Friday prayers where worshippers become captivated by his simplicity, Reza becomes a respected religious figure and a man who finds God himself. But there is also an underlying criticism of the men of the cloth who have ruled Iran for the past 25 years. Firstly, Reza's easy-going style - including sexually suggestive jokes and even speaking of "brother (Quentin) Tarantino," the US film director - brings people flooding back to the mosques. Coupled with this is the message that God and the various interpretations of the Koranic message are accessible to all - even a convicted thief who should under Islamic law have his hand cut off. If the film has one message, Tabrizi says, it is to say to the clergy that in order to survive and to maintain their contact with the people, they should accept criticism." The Lizard" could become one of the most commercially successful Iranian films of all time. Critics have also pointed to the film's more refreshing, accessible style - a far cry from the more highbrow and often surreal offerings of internationally acclaimed directors Abbas Kiarostami or Mohsen Makhmalbaf, directors who have scored with foreign festival goers but not a large chunk of the Iranian public.

 

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