Seen at the 4th annual Athena Film Festival at Barnard College.
Roopa (Deol) is the organizer, KJ (Erickson) is the anti-war activist, & Farah (Boosheri) is the American-born child of Iranian refugees.
This road trip goes beyond female bonding to become a political awakening for all 3 of them, as well as an occasion for personal liberation for Farah (who begins the trip as a sexually inexperienced neophyte).
Farah Goes Bang was directed by Meera Menon based on a screenplay she co-wrote with Laura Goode. Nikohl Boosheri, who received great reviews for her strong performance in Circumstance a few years back, turns in an even better, more multi-dimensional performance here as Farah,
On 4/25/13, Menon won the first ever Nora Ephron Prize at the Tribecca Film Festival (to be given annually to “a woman writer or director with a distinctive voice who embodies the spirit and vision of the legendary filmmaker and writer”), which will undoubtedly give her burgeoning career a well-deserved boost. Can't wait to see what she does next! (JLH: 4/5)
Top Photo: "Farah Mahtab" (Nikohl Boosheri) attends a training session in LA before heading off to Ohio to work for John Kerry's campaign.
Bottom Photo: While in Ohio, "Roopa Raj" (Kiran Deol), "KJ Lux" (Kandis Erickson) & "Farah Mahtab" (Nikohl Boosheri) stay at a lakeside vacation cottage where KJ spent many childhood summers.
Photo Credits: ???
Farah Goes Bang is definitely fueled by politics, & while there is very little actual conversation about John Kerry himself, there's a lot of talk about why they are working for his campaign (e.g., to encourage people to exercises their rights as voters, to persuade people to vote to stop the war in Iraq, etc).
Of course, we go into Farah Goes Bang already knowing that Kerry will lose in Ohio & therefore fail in his bid to become President, but it's important to remember how close he came to unseating Bush.
With rueful reflection, tho, they do acknowledge the day after Kerry's concession speech that "John Kerry was always a hard sell."
Please do note read until after you have seen Farah Goes Bang!
For much of the film, Farah is an outsider looking in--not just someone going into other people's homes to campaign for her candidate, but someone who sees American freedoms that she's not yet able to experience for herself. Farah hasn't found "Mr. Right" & she has decided that she doesn't want to wait for him anymore. More to the point, when she does find "Mr. Right," she doesn't want him to know she's been waiting for him. To be blunt, she has decided that virginity is holding her back.
Virgin Blood is a hugely important subject that has rarely been discussed from a female perspective (& even less so from a Feminist perspective). Most women know that the first time they have sex, they will bleed, & that means their partner will know. This blood used to be evidence of purity reserved for a husband on a wedding night, but no more.
How Farah deals with all this gives the film it's title. I will say no more 😉