This festival pairs up The Marriage Project with If I Die, Please Delete My Soundcloud. And to that I say, what do you mean if, we will all die alone.
Anyway, the one other critic who has seen The Marriage Project has commented on its thematic richness. I agree with this praise, and there’s something meta about this documentary about deciding which neuro atypical in an Iranian facility has the mental capacity for marriage. By focusing on a few subjects, the film is doing the same thing that the facility is, but it has a different criteria, which is obvious. The Marriage Project chooses Sahar, and one of her symptoms include doing laundry to calm herself.
This is why the facility’s committee turned her down. The committee is one of the film’s main focal points, and there’s nuance to this focus. It’s infuriating that a committee full of neuro typical people is deciding the fate of the atypical, and the film knows it and uses it to its advantage. At the same time, it understand those doctors’ point of view. It also validly reminds the audience that marriage has more to do with a person’s feelings for someone else. Although thankfully, the film balances the patients and doctors’ screen times.
It also lets Sahar express her disappointment of falling in love and not being able to legitimize her feelings in a legal way. We’ve seen this before, where the other hopes for a better life only for societal circumstances to dash those hopes. There’s an intimacy even when the camera observes its subjects’ daily routine in this relatively claustrophobic facility. Sometimes it catches them act in ways that align with stereotypes. At others, it catches them behaving ‘normally’, hiding from labels, but those moments are heart wrenchingly too few.
- Release Date: 10/