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This gentle, low-key comedy follows a female civil servant of an Islamic country (presumably Iran, but specifics aren't given) as she travels around a sparsely populated island, trying to get the inhabitants to vote on election day. Her efforts are both helped and hindered by the reluctant soldier who has been assigned to accompany her--but far more significant hurdles are language barriers, deep-seated gender prejudices, and mechanical breakdowns. The civil servant struggles to maintain her faith in democratic processes in the face of indifference, antagonism, and absurdity. When someone tells her, "Voting doesn't catch fish," she has no reply, yet perseveres in her attempt to make the world better. Secret Ballot is slow-paced, but the movie's rhythms suit the world it depicts. Nassim Abdi, as the civil servant, gives a wonderfully engaging performance; her innocent, open face captures both the humor and the sadness in her struggle. --Bret Fetzer
What a wonderful, charming little film!
And it's very, very funny!
I loved it and laughed out loud many, many times. My 20-year old son didn't get it, though. Read more
I really wanted to like this film. It did raise some interesting points about society and humanity. I'll even agree with some of the other reviewers that the more subtextual... Read morePublished on Feb. 6 2004
This film is easily misunderstood, but even those who do not fully understand it, will enjoy it and find it "sweet", "charming" or "gentle". Read morePublished on Feb. 1 2004 by MW van Staden
Personally, I enjoy "slow" movies- you get to savor the atmosphere and the characters- why the rush all the time? Read morePublished on Jan. 26 2004
I have seen alot of Iranian films but I think this one is a bit on pretentious side. Maybe it inflicts the thoughts and style of the director, but I didn't like it at all anyway. Read morePublished on Dec 11 2003
This movie is a very realistic look at a culture most of us don't know, and maybe don't care to. If you are looking for action, forget this movie. Read morePublished on Oct. 1 2003 by Julie Happy
This film is very funny. The political point is clear. The only thing I see other reviewers expressing disapointment about is "it's slow pace". Read morePublished on Sept. 28 2003 by Peter Baumann
This has to be the slowest movie I've seen since La Dolce Vita. The idea is great--an Iranian election agent trying to gather votes from a remote island whose residents are really... Read morePublished on Aug. 23 2003 by Glen Engel Cox
Let's talk about the DVD itself. The only thing special is that you have control of what language to see the subtitles...that's about it...and scene selections. Read morePublished on June 22 2003 by Orchid Goddess