A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night

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A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
AGWHAN poster.jpg
Film poster
Directed by Ana Lily Amirpour
Produced by
Written by Ana Lily Amirpour
Starring
Cinematography Lyle Vincent
Edited by Alex O'Flinn
Production
companies
Distributed by VICE Films
Release date
  • January 20, 2014 (2014-01-20) (Sundance)[1]
  • November 21, 2014 (2014-11-21) (United States)
Running time
101 minutes[2]
Country United States
Language Persian
Box office $628,000[3]

A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (Persian: دختری در شب تنها به خانه می‌رود‎‎ Dokhtari dar šab tanhâ be xâne miravad) is a 2014 Persian-language American vampire western[4] film directed by Ana Lily Amirpour. Tagged as "The first Iranian vampire Western", it was chosen to show in the "Next" program at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival.[5]

The film is described as being set in "the Iranian ghost-town Bad City" and depicts the doings of "a lonesome vampire".[6]

Plot[edit]

A young, hardworking Iranian man named Arash lives with and takes care of his heroin-addicted father, Hossein. They are harassed by a cruel, drug-dealer pimp named Saeed, who seizes the young man's prized car in exchange for money the father owes him. In a crime of opportunity, Arash steals a pair of diamond earrings from the wealthy young woman he works for, Shaydah.

The pimp comes across a strange young woman in a chador at night, and back at his apartment she grows long fangs and first bites off his finger, then goes for his neck. As she leaves, she passes by Arash, who has come to offer the earrings for his car. He finds Saeed dead, and takes back his car keys along with the drugs and cash. Arash dresses up as Dracula, and goes to a night club where he is seduced by Shaydah into taking one of the ecstasy pills he is selling. Under the influence, he is rejected by her, and ends up lost at night on the street.

The woman with the chador spends her time listening to music alone in her apartment, or bedeviling pedestrians at night, until she comes across the lost Arash. He shows vulnerability and compassion, and she takes him to her home, where they listen to music, and she resists his exposed neck. They meet the next night, and she says that he does not know the terrible things she has done. He is unfazed, gives her the earrings and – at her request – pierces her ears with a safety pin, but she eventually leaves.

Atti, a prostitute who works for the pimp, is followed at night by the woman in the chador, and they retreat to the prostitute's apartment. They have a conversation during which the woman in the chador realizes that Atti no longer remembers what it is to desire. She leaves.

Suffering from heroin withdrawal, Hossein has an episode where he believes that Arash's cat is his dead wife. Infuriated by his father, Arash gives him drugs and money and throws him out, telling him to take the cat with him. Hossein goes to Atti and forces her to take heroin with him. They are found by the woman with the chador, who kills Hossein. After Atti helps her dispose of Hossein's body, she tells her to take the cat and leave.

The following morning, Arash discovers Hossein's body. Distressed, he runs to the apartment of the woman in the chador and begs her to run away with him. As she is gathering up her things, the cat appears and Arash realizes that she had something to do with his father's death. Arash and the woman drive off together but he pulls off to the side of the road, angry and undecided about what to do. He eventually gets back in the car and the two drive off together.

Cast[edit]

Production[edit]

The film was shot in the town of Taft in Kern County in southern California.[8] An early short film with the same title from Amirpour screened at festivals and won Best Short Film at the Noor Iranian Film Festival.[9] The film is edited by Ben and Jon Conrad.[10]

Soundtrack[edit]

No. Title Artist Length
1. "Charkhesh e Pooch" Kiosk 2:23
2. "Gelaye" Radio Tehran 3:43
3. "Sarcophagus" Federale 8:34
4. "Dancing girls" Farah 5:35
5. "Bashy" Free Electric Band 5:14
6. "Black Sunday" Federale 3:58
7. "Hishe Ayn Ore (Remember That Day?)" Bei Ru 2:52
8. "Bread Thief" Bei Ru 3:00
9. "Death (album version)" White Lies 5:00
10. "Sisyphus" Federale 4:14
11. "Khabnama" Radio Tehran 6:33
12. "Thirsty's Return" Federale 3:26
13. "Cheshme Man" Dariush 4:54
14. "Tatilat" Radio Tehran 5:40
15. "Yarom Bia" Kiosk 4:31
16. "The Veil" Bei Ru 3:52
17. "Tribe" Federale 4:25

Reception[edit]

The film received positive reviews from critics. The film received a 95% "Certified Fresh" approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes, based on ninety-seven reviews.[11] Guy Lodge of Variety said in his review that "Ana Lily Amirpour's auspicious debut feature is a sly, slinky vampire romance set in an imaginary Iranian underworld".[1] Andrew O'Hehir of Salon called the film "the year's biggest discovery" and praised it for its feminist themes.[12] Boyd van Hoeij, in his review for The Hollywood Reporter, praised the film by saying that "this moody and gorgeous film is finally more about atmosphere and emotions than narrative – and none the worse for it".[13] Drew Taylor of Indiewire graded the film A− and said that it gives "the impression that you're witnessing something iconic and important unfold before you".[14]

Adaptations[edit]

The film was adapted into a graphic novel published by Radco in 2014.[15]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Lodge, Guy (January 24, 2014). "Sundance Film Review: 'A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night'". Variety. Retrieved February 28, 2015. 
  2. ^ "A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT (15)". British Board of Film Classification. April 7, 2015. Retrieved May 14, 2015. 
  3. ^ "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2015) - International Box Office Results". The Numbers. Nash Information Services, LLC. Retrieved 5 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Lyne, Charlie (2015-07-24). "A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night: ‘the first Iranian vampire western’". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2016-12-10. 
  5. ^ Barnes, Brooks (2013-12-04). "A Sundance Lineup Laced With Race, Horror and Family Turmoil". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Moore, Debi (2013-12-04). "First Wave of Sundance 2014 Films Announced; See the Horror Highlights Here". Dread Central. 
  7. ^ "Credits at end of film, and cast list on IMDb". 
  8. ^ IMDb - filming locations
  9. ^ "2012 NIFF Award Winners". Noor Iranian Film Festival (NIFF) official website. Retrieved 2015-10-16. 
  10. ^ Moore, Debi (2013-12-04). "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night". comiXology. 
  11. ^ "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 2015-09-07. 
  12. ^ ""A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night": The black-and-white, feminist Iranian vampire western you’ve been waiting for". Salon. November 20, 2014. Retrieved September 7, 2015. 
  13. ^ "A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  14. ^ "New Directors/New Films Review: 'A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night' Is A New Vampire Classic". Indiewire. Retrieved May 7, 2014. 
  15. ^ Moore, Debi (2013-12-04). "Radco's graphic novel adaptation of Ana Lily Amirpour’s mind-blowing A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT". Dread Central. 

External links[edit]