In this intense psychological drama, handsome Iranian expat Esmail spends his nights in upscale Copenhagen wine bars, seducing a series of Danish women. But while outwardly suave and personable, Esmail is in fact a desperate man on a mission: his visa is about to expire, and in order to remain in the country he needs to marry for citizenship.

When his latest relationship with a Danish woman comes to an end, Esmail has an encounter with Sara — a canny and whip-smart Iranian-born Danish woman, who knows immediately what Esmail is up to. Perhaps surprisingly, this honesty forms the basis for a relationship of their own, one that only grows as Sara’s mother welcomes Esmail into their small family. Despite the pressure of navigating the social intricacies of Denmark’s Iranian community while trying to maintain his connection to family back home, it seems like Esmail’s goal may at last be within reach. But what he hasn’t taken into account are the vagaries of the human heart — both those of the women he pursues, and his own. Directed by Milad Alami (Denmark, 2017)

What seems a premise for an earnest social-issue drama is darkened and complicated, however, by a progressively noir-ish strain of morally elusive mystery — enhancing the international distribution prospects of a topical, tightly wound slow-burner.”Variety

“The title word “charmer” suggests an immoral playboy, someone prepared to sacrifice others on the altar of his own ambition. Circumstances have forced Esmail into this role — one which, in different hands, could have played as comedy — and his strategy will have indeed have tragic consequences.”  —The Hollywood Reporter

About the Director

Iranian-born director Milad Alami (b.1982) grew up in Sweden and now lives in Denmark. He graduated from The National Film School of Denmark in 2011. His films have been selected for numerous film festivals, such as Director’s Fortnight in Cannes, New York Film Festival, Clermont Ferrand and Karlovy Vary.

His short film Mommy premiered in competition at Gothenborg International Film Festival in January 2015 and won the Danish Academy Award for Best Short Film 2016. The Charmer marks his feature film debut.

March 1, 2019

March 1, 2019

WED—February 27—7 PM & FRI—March 1—6:30 PM
$12 ($7 ASF Members)
100 min. In Danish and Farsi with English subtitles.