Review: Wednesday, May 9
Director: Vahid Jalilvand
By Sarah Stopforth
Wednesday, May 9 is the debut feature for Iranian filmmaker Vahid Jalilvand, and it is not for the weak of heart. This spectacular piece of Iranian cinema shines through the tragedies in this story of humanism.
Teacher Jayal Ashtiyani (Amir Aghaei) puts an ad in the local Tehran newspaper, offering a large sum of money (30 million tomans) for one worthy individual. At first light on Wednesday May 9, there is a mass of desperate people, crowding the street outside Jayal’s building. Among this crowd are two women, Leila (Niki Karimi) and Setareh (Sahar Ahmadpour).
Leila needs the money for her paraplegic husband, who could be cured with expensive surgery, who’s story is told in the first act of the film. Setareh, since her parents died, lives with her very strict aunt. Setrah has secretly married a boy that her family does not approve of, is pregnant, and her husband is in jail. Her story is explained within the second act of the film.
In the third act of the film, Jalal and a friend decide on a person who is most in need of the 30 million tomans. After interviewing hundreds and hundreds of people, Jalal must pick one person. An un-selfish, generous act suddenly turns into something of guilt and suffering for Jalal.
Wednesday May 9 is a brilliantly structured, heart-aching tale of how humans decide who are most worthy, and how that causes only sadness.
Wednesday, May 9 opens on Thursday, September 29, at Luna Palace Cinemas. See their website for details.