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Together with his wife and two daughters, Iranian Iman flees to Sweden. Building a new life there is not so easy. Why did Iman flee in the first place?

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Deze voorstelling maakt deel uit van Rialto Filmclub met als gastspreker deze maand Ernst-Jan Pfauth.

Opponent (Motståndaren)

Iman, a Tehran native, is a wrestler who plays for the Iranian national team. Still, he decides to flee his country with his wife Maryam and their two daughters. They end up in the north of Sweden, where Iman tries to earn some extra money delivering pizzas on a snowmobile. The asylum process drags on and on and the family are waiting forever for a residence permit. When Iman hears that elite athletes may get special dispensation, he joins a wrestling club, against his wife's wishes. She misses her work as a piano teacher, the children miss their friends. Why did Iman flee?

In his second, self-written feature, Swedish-Iranian director Milad Alami devotes a prominent storyline to wrestling, not just to symbolize the struggle people are dealing with daily, especially in unfree Iran, but also to challenge stereotypical ideas of masculinity. Starring Payman Maadi, known from the Iranian Oscar winner A Separation, as Iman.


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Milad ALAMI (1982, Iran) is a director and writer. His shorts Void and Mini were nominated for the 2015 Robert Awards. His first feature, The Charmer, won awards including the Fedeora prize in San Sebastian. Opponent, his second feature, picked up a Special Jury Prize in Seattle and the Golden Gazelle Award of the Persian Film Festival Australia (both 2023).