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PERSIAN LESSONS

Vadim Perelman | 2020 | 127 MINS
Russia / Germany / Belarus | Subtitles
A young Jewish man pretends to be Iranian to avoid being executed in a concentration camp.

In Detail

1942. Gilles, (Nahuel Pérez Biscayart), Lars Eidinger a young Belgian man, is arrested by the SS alongside other Jews and sent to a concentration camp in Germany. He narrowly avoids execution by swearing to the guards that he is not Jewish, but Persian.

This lie temporarily saves him, but then Gilles is assigned a seemingly untenable mission: to teach Persian to Koch (Lars Eidinger), the officer in charge of the camp's kitchen, who dreams of opening a restaurant in Persia (Iran) once the war is over. Gilles finds himself having to invent a language he doesn't know, word by word. As the unusual relationship between the two men begins to incite jealousy and suspicion, Gilles becomes acutely aware that one false move could expose his swindle. An unusual premise underpins a tension-filled two hours, culminating in a virtuoso climax.

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