Opening 14 Nov 2019
As a Communist, Omid (Reza Brojerdi) has spent years living in exile in East Germany writing political commentary against the government of the Shah of Iran. In 1979, when the government is overthrown during the Iranian Revolution, he is elated and convinces his East German wife Beate to move to Iran with their daughter Sarah. At first, it seems like this new Iran will be the country Omid has always dreamed of, but as months pass, it becomes increasingly clear to Beate that the new government’s conservative values threaten much of what she holds dear.
While Morgan sind wir frei is a gripping story of a family caught in the middle of a dangerous revolution, where it fails is in the originality of its story. Have there not been enough tales of western women trapped in the conservative Islamic country of Iran during or after the revolution? At times, the Not Without My Daughter (1990) vibes were so strong in this story that it felt like a modern rehash. While Beate’s husband is not nearly so controlling, Omid seems incapable, at least until the situation becomes politically untenable for himself, to understand why his wife might want to leave. This narrative feels rather tired, and while the character of Beate might come from East Germany, which had the potential to maybe add some interesting new nuances, the script makes little effort to illuminate how her perspective differed from any average European woman of the time. While Omid and Beate’s communist backgrounds could have made for some potentially interesting examinations of the unique political struggles of Communists in Iran during this period, this topic was not given much consideration.
Morgan sind wir frei is a derivative film which doesn’t offer any new perspectives. With decent pacing and adequate acting, it isn’t without its entertainment value; however, as a political film it never really reaches its potential. (Rose Finlay)