As Jafar picks up passengers, meets friends, and runs into others, key political and economic issues get discussed. The film feels realistic, much like the conversations and performances in “Before Sunset” and “Conversations with Other Women” have the ring of real interactions. But even as the film touches on imprisonment from unsubstantiated charges, interrogation and torture, rampant crime, and government censorship of films, it does so with a light touch. Because the characters treat these things as commonplace, as casual conversation topics, we understand just how deep the problems run. And Jafar remains an affable presence even as some of his passengers’ actions would try anyone’s patience.
Alex is the Editor-in-Chief of The Seventh Row, based in San Francisco and from Toronto, Canada.