A lone chador-clad figure (Vand) wanders at night on the deserted streets of Bad City, Iran, where pimps and prostitutes ply their trade. She is drawn to Arash (Marandi), who cruises around town in a Ford Thunderbird, clad in a black leather jacket and sporting a fifties pompadour. Saeed, a drug dealer, abuses a streetwalker (Marno) and keeps Arash’s father Hossein (Manesh) hooked on heroin until the black cloaked girl takes matters into her own fangs.
This moody, monochromatic love story draws on Westerns, graphic novels, vampire lore and Jarmuschian rhythms to present its metaphor of Middle Eastern female empowerment. The Girl, who glides (and sometimes skateboards) around the city, suggests Death itself meting out justice. Amirpour’s first feature, shot in California in only 24 days, is a pastiche of styles, beautifully threaded together with a soundtrack that uses Iranian pop and Morricone influenced guitars. Don’t miss this hip, stylish, atmospheric vampire picture.