Coming to theatres from director Sahar Mosayebi and Blue Fox Entertainment comes the story of a woman living in a country that doesn’t see her with ORCA.
Elham (Taraneh Alidoosti) is a woman who has suffered terribly at the hands of her husband and has been beaten almost to death. While recovering, she only finds solace and peace swimming in the ocean. At home things are strained with her parents as Elham believes they don’t understand what she has been through.
The government agent in charge of the right and wrongs of the country regarding sports, Nazar Abadi (Mahtab Keramati) makes it clear that Elham will never be allowed to break any water records. She also takes every opportunity to find a reason to deny any requests she puts up for approval with the line of ‘in an Islamic country, women don’t swim’.
Trying to find a place that allows her to train for any endurance swim she can be approved for, Elham finds a quiet beach community and friendship with a woman who runs the hotel. She is the one who tells Elham that the Orca is her spirit animal.
That, is what will bring Elham into focus and strengthen her determination to do what they say can not be done.
Alidoosti as Elham gives such a stunning performance. From the beginning of the film, we see a woman who has been beaten down all in the name of love. Finding her place, it is certainly not on land. Alidoosti brings us to a time where even women are not about to help other women but instead keep them hidden from head to toe. Inside those wraps are women who are trying to find themselves.
Her performance enlightens us to a time and place to show the importance of women who can ask to work together but sometimes must take their own path against those who refuse to change. Along the way, people can see from Elham’s journey what is possible if you remind yourself of the humanity that is just a heartbeat away.
Cast also includes Armik Gharabian as Elham’s mother, Arash Aghabeik as Elham’s father,
Blue Fox Entertainment is a global film distribution and sales company specializing in connecting filmmakers to audiences and buyers in the United States and around the world internationally. For more of what Blue Fox Entertainment has to offer please visit www.bluefoxentertainment.com.
The film is inspired by Iran’s “Woman, Life, Freedom” protest movement and based on a true story of the Iranian swimmer Elham-Sada Asghari who earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records.
ORCA is beautiful in the relationship that Elham has with water and it is relatable to those of us who feel the very same way. Finding liquid peace and comfort where she is told, and even severely hurt by men who refuse to let go of archaic ways, watching her glide through the water was stunning.
Director Mosayebi takes the time to let us all understand the trauma in the life of Elham from the beginning that could have easily kept her down. Instead, we see her take two steps forward and one steps back but the thing is, Elham is always moving forward. She states her case repeatedly and even with the one woman who should be on her side refusing (I’m assuming because she liked the power), Elham still pushed forward.
Having the love and support of her parents and new friends, the story of Elham’s journey to become recognized for her accomplishments cannot be stopped. See for yourself the trials and tribulations of a woman who saw her strength in an ORCA.
In the end – swim to what is possible!