BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page was last updated in April 2005We've left it here for reference.More information

18 April 2014
Accessibility help
Text only

BBC Homepage
»BBC Local
Things to do
People & Places
Religion & Ethics
Arts and Culture
BBC Introducing
TV & Radio

Sites near Shropshire

Black Country
Hereford & Worcester

Related BBC Sites


Contact Us

Like this page?
Send it to a friend!


At Five In The Afternoon
15 At Five In The Afternoon (Panj É Asr) (2004)

updated 11 April 2004
reviewer's rating
4 out of 5
Reviewed by Jamie Russell
average user rating
4 Star

Samira Makhmalbaf
Samira Makhmalbaf
Mohsen Makhmalbaf
Agheleh Rezaie
Abdolgani Yousefrazi
Razi Mohebi
Marzieh Amiri
106 minutes
Artificial Eye
16 April 2004
World Cinema

Rate This Film
What did you think of this film?
Select your star rating from the options below

Star Rating: 1  1
Star Rating: 2  2
Star Rating: 3  3
Star Rating: 4  4
Star Rating: 5  5
Average star rating: 4 from 91 votes

"At five in the afternoon comes death," claims a haunting snatch of poetry in this equally haunting picture from Iranian director Samira Makhmalbaf. One of the first feature films to emerge from post-Taliban Afghanistan (making it a worthy companion piece to Siddiq Barmak's excellent Osama), this follows Noqreh (Agheleh Rezaie) as she struggles to redefine her role as a woman despite the protestations of her cranky, conservative father (Abdolgani Yousefrazi). Yet with death and misery everywhere, freedom seems an unlikely luxury.

As Noqreh's father drags her and her sister-in-law (Marzieh Amiri) across this bombed-out dustbowl in search of her missing brother, it's clear that international intervention has done little to solve the problems of the country. Unexploded mines kill children, religious extremism is rife, and the people are disenfranchised by years of civil war and a lack of basic education. Too busy burying their dead relatives, people have no interest in politics and death seems ready to come at any hour of the day, not just at five. "Blasphemy is everywhere," claims Noqreh's despairing father. "Many have been killed, the country is in ruins."


With the harsh realities of life on the ground proving an obstacle to Noqreh's ambitious dream of female empowerment (she plans to become the first woman president of the new republic), the film finds only a series of hesitant, incomplete images in which to place hope: a pair of battered high heels, a once outlawed game of hopscotch, a clandestine photograph.

With Noqreh's chance encounter with a bemused French UN soldier turning the film's political gaze back on us, the assignment of guilt is clear: we bombed the country to oblivion; now we must aid its redevelopment before the ruins give birth to a second wave of extremism. Judging by the tragic events that conclude this haunting film, we may have already left it too late.

In Farsi with English subtitles.

Find out more about "At Five In The Afternoon (Panj É Asr)" at
Movie Review Query Engine
The Internet Movie Database

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external websites

Top| Films Index | Home

BBC Shropshire Bollywood news, reviews and galleries
Red bullet point Bollywood film galleries
BBC Shropshire film search
Red bullet point What to see in Shropshire
BBC Shropshire guide to top ten films to watch this month
Red bullet point What to watch this month
BBC Shropshire film vault
Red bullet point Packed full of film reviews

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy