Land of Dreams

by Shirin NeshatShoja Azari

An America in the near future that has closed its borders and has become more insular than ever. From the last script by the late Jean-Claude Carrière and with music by Michael Brook (Into the Wild, An Inconvenient Truth).

Simin is an Iranian woman on a journey to discover what it means to be a free American. She works for the Census Bureau which, in an effort to control its citizens, has begun a program to record their dreams. Unaware of this devious plot, Simin is torn between her compassion for those whose dreams she is recording and a truth she must find within. Haunted by the fact that her father was executed by the Islamic regime in Iran, Simin has developed a coping mechanism through a world of fantasy and playacting. She captures her interviewees' dreams, secretly impersonates them in Farsi and publishes them on social media where she finds a growing Iranian audience. Soon Simin meets Mark; a drifter, a free soul, and a poet who declares his love for her at first sight; and Alan, a cynical cowboy turned detective, full of machismo and the American spirit of adventure. As Simin enters the triad, she finds the two men's competition and conflicts amusing and silently enjoys the ride.

Genre / Language / Length
Drama / English, Persian / 113 minutes
Original title
Land of Dreams
directed by
Shirin Neshat (WOMEN WITHOUT MEN)Shoja Azari
director of photography
Ghasem Ebrahimian
screenplay by
Jean-Claude Carrière (THE UNBEARABLE LIGHTNESS OF BEING, BELLE DE JOUR, THE TIN DRUM)Shoja Azari
produced by
Bon Voyage Films, Land of Dreams LLC
Cast
  • Sheila Vand (A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT)
  • Matt Dillon (CRASH, THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY)
  • Isabella Rossellini (BLUE VELVET, ENEMY)
  • Anna Gunn (BREAKING BAD)
  • William Moseley (NARNIA CHRONICLES)
  • Christopher McDonald (THELMA & LOUISE, HAPPY GILMORE)
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Press Quotes

"In this beguiling political satire, directed by Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari, computer screens and cellphones are sleek and sexy, xenophobic attitudes persist in the name of a misguided nationalism, and the state still investigates its citizens for vague national security purposes. If it weren't for the fact that the U.S. Census Bureau collects dreams — yes, dreams — it would be easy to mistake the film's representation for reality."
"It's a witty and thrilling take on American culture that benefits from its creators' immigrant experiences and inventive style."
"The film, which is also visually stunning, cleverly examines the relationship between the surveillance state and personal freedom while also commenting on a surprisingly broad spectrum of American life, from the cliched suburban family to the Black artist haunted by the specter of the nation's past."
"The trio's ... dynamic works thanks to the film's sharp screenplay and strong performances from Vand, Dillon and Moseley. Vand, in particular, does a marvelous job at capturing Simin's inner turmoil and general volatility. Perfectly timed smirks and seemingly uncharacteristic flashes of rage undercut any viewer expectations that the film will follow a predictable, or readily understandable, path."
"Simin's interviews are not only microcosms of America's rich cultural landscape — they're also thrilling visual experiments and opportunities to engage with philosophical notions regarding the thin line between dreams and reality."
THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER

"Incredibly fascinating."
"A captivating, promising film that never fails to have our attention — thanks to its genuinely compelling premise, a superb performance from lead Sheila Vand, and impressive camerawork that makes for an absorbing experience."
"Our attention never falters, and we are drawn into a central mystery that seems to become more complex and multilayered by the minute."
"A meaningful, timely message that has to do with the immigrant experience in America."
"There's also a lot of symbolism in the film,…which is successfully woven into the narrative by means of Simin's own past, and the pictures of specific moments from her childhood that have shaped her experience of life."
"Thought-provoking enough to be worth watching, aided by an excellent lead performance, impressive cinematography, and a series of unexpectedly hilarious moments
often involving Matt Dillon

that you won't be able to forget."
LOUD AND CLEAR

"A very successful cast and a visionary story."
NOCTURNO

"Infinitely rewarding."
ONE ROOM WITH A VIEW

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