In addition to all those great films about the destinies of women crushed by the patriarchy of Islamic countries, some directors prefer to change the rules of the game, bringing before us some “atypical” protagonists. This doesn’t mean that ‘JUMPING signed by Mohsen Nabavi is a short film lacking the aesthetic and emotional qualities of other productions with a similar theme. On the contrary, the context and conflict analysed by the director hit you mercilessly, highlighting a scenario that is still considered taboo even by many of the “emancipated” countries: women who want a sex reassignment surgery. But this thematic option is not illustrated in an ostentatious, militant manner but seeks to deepen a more subtle psychological study. More specifically, the narrative thread briefly follows the inner conflict of a woman who, in order to be with the woman she loves and to live in a body that she fully accepts, must divorce a husband who hides a dark secret.


In his project, the director tackles not only the social hierarchies between men and women or, more broadly, between ideas and preconceptions related to masculinity and femininity but also all the contradictory emotional moods that the protagonist faces when she must choose between her own good and the good of others. Precisely this delicate context in which fragility and monstrosity combine into a shocking existential fragment, without giving a definite answer to the dilemmas exposed, is the great quality of the short film, built like a much more brutal version of Pedro Almodóvar’s “Talk to Her”. However, despite its (non-intentional) narrative affinity with the Spanish director’s feature, the short film signed by Mohsen Nabavi programmatically avoids any kind of embellishments. We are, therefore, in front of a cruel, almost sickly realism in which the dark and suffocating atmosphere of the “ordinary couples” expresses the perpetual sensation of an emotional collapse. In the same way, the implosive acting of the main protagonist expresses with a painful authenticity that feeling of miserable cloistering, that state of uncertainty which, in the end, turns the short film ‘JUMPING’ into a heartbreaking confession not only about gender identity but also about life in a couple, a life that can sometimes become a tragic farce.


For the brutal sincerity with which it exposes a delicate emotional and social context and for the cohesion of the elements that capture in an oppressive atmosphere the identity crisis of the protagonist, ‘JUMPING’ was awarded the 2nd Film of the Month distinction in the October 2021 edition of TMFF.