Film Review: There is No Evil

The use of the death penalty remains controversial, to say the least. While in most developed countries, but tellingly not all of the United States of America, it has been phased out, there are over fifty countries where it’s still actively used. Even Iran’s fairly dreadful COVID record didn’t stop the Islamic republic using it 267 times in 2020, but in a normal year it’s usually twice that number. Capital punishment features heavily in There is No Evil.

Four men have to face-up to a simple, yet almost impossible, choice. A man (Ehsan Mirhosseini) leads an ordinary, humdrum and uneventful life, but are appearances deceiving? Two soldiers (Kaveh Ahangar and Mohammad Valizadegan) must make difficult choices while undertaking military service. A dying uncle (Mohammad Seddighimehr) must make one final admission which could destroy a family.  

The four vignettes which make-up the mosaic of There is No Evil all centre on the oppressive nature of the authoritarian regime in Iran. The choices these men have to make are imposed on them by an inhumane system. As writer/director Mohammad Rasoulof’s film deftly illustrates, these laws have a devastating impact on everyone within this society. There is No Evil is assuredly acted and beautifully shot. Showing several sides to the same issue.

There is No Evil is out in cinemas and on digital on 3 December.

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