The film consists of four short stories. The first, which gave the name to the entire film, is the most dramatically successful – we do not know until the very end (unless, of course, we have read the description of the film), what will resolve the family routine that we are watching. The other three novels are about soldiers who make their own choices, but in the end, whether they decide to obey orders or not, the outcome is the same. Regardless of their choice, their future lives will be ruined. Those who refuse to comply with the order, at best expect a secret life in exile without documents, at worst – an extension of service, a tribunal, a similar sentence.
The fact that the film consists of four separate stories is also due to the fact that the director Mohammad Rasulof is in disgrace in the government. He is banned from leaving Iran: after his return from the Cannes film festival in 2017, the authorities said that he posed a threat to national security, took away his passport and banned him from working for life. The film was shot illegally; it is safer to secretly shoot short episodes in different locations and with different actors than one large-scale film. At the award ceremony, the Golden Bear was received by his daughter Baran, who lives in Germany and starred in the last story.
The film may seem a little long and sometimes contains unnecessary explanations of circumstances, but it is definitely acute-social. However, it seems that the practice of attracting conscripts to carry out the death penalty in Iran now does not exist – it seems like it was in the past, but then it was canceled. The creators of the film at a press conference insisted that the film is feature, but without real facts at the heart of film problematics looks at least artificial.