Review: Iranian film A Hero is a nourishing and emotional watch

Winner of the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival last year, Iranian film A Hero is finally in New Zealand cinemas.

It tells the tale of a former prisoner who's trying to turn his life around but some good and bad luck makes that much more difficult.

Celebrated, Oscar-nominated Iranian filmmaker Asghar Farhadi is no stranger to the Cannes winner's podium, and now on the eve of this year's festival his film, A Hero is available on the big screen for New Zealand audiences. And it's well worth the wait.

Relatable and restrained in his storytelling, the strength of this film lies in the simplicity of the narrative and the humanity of his characters - the beating heart of which is Rahim.

Rahim is in jail for a debt he can't pay back, his creditor remains steadfast, staunch in his belief Rahim is untrustworthy.

When a good turn becomes a PR stunt for the prison, our hero is flung into a maelstrom of half-truths and power struggles, bad luck and good, and the emotional minefield of trying to be a good father, a good brother and stay true to himself.

These are weighty themes and through the gentle watchful lens of Farhadi it makes for a nourishing and very emotional watch.

Four-and-a-half stars.