Vampires wearing hijab and men wearing vampire costumes. Indie and rock music. James Dean. Mad drug dealers, heroin addict fathers, sad prostitutes. And on the background Iran, depicted as an hypothetical Bad City in black and white. All this is contained in the little masterpiece “A girl walks home alone at night” and it contributes to create a film to which is difficult to give a precise genre.
This movie suddenly appeared in the recommended list on my Netflix profile; poster and plot intrigued me and, after a short research for info on the web, I understood it was worthed to watch it. A vampire movie ambiented in Iran? A female vampire, also? Very easy to think that it was more a movie about the female condition in a muslim country instead of a horror. Then, scene after scene, it’s clear there’s something more. Or less. Or that anyway mixes the purposes, trascending the cultural, social and genre stereotypes.
The vampire girl, even with the expected contrasts given by her “monstruous” nature, becomes human, more human of many other characters that she has around, or better, that she silently follows and spies closely, wrapped in the traditional hijab that covers the indie clothes. Is her make up typical of her culture or rock? Are kisses forbidden by the culture or are them direct consequence of her being a vampire? It’s not important, because these elements create a romantic, silent and desperate atmosphere especially in the contrast of what is permitted and what is not, regardless.
The encounter with Arash, young and poor, slave of his junkie father and rejected by the rich daughter of the family for which he works, will be a turn in the non-life of the girl: he will be the one breaking her vocal and emotional silence and searching, together, an exit, some kind of happy ending in a story that seems for definition not being able to have one.
The movie is the debut of Ana Lily Amirpour, young american director coming from an iranian family. The film is in persian language but, for obvious reasons, it was not shoot in Iran: the city on the background is in Southern California.
Amirpour, together with the movie, wrote also a series of six comics: for now you can find the first two episodes on Comixology.com (or Comixology.eu for Europe). I bought the first: just so you know, it’s very short, I’ll tell you about the others as I’ll buy them also 😉
Last thing: since the soundtrack is pretty relevant in the movie, I suggest you to listen to it. Below one of the songs I loved more: