Starz Denver Film Festival 2011 must-see pick for Wednesday, November 9: Good Bye

Again this year, Starz Denver Film Festival artistic director Brit Withey is offering his must-see picks for each day of the fest -- including many flicks that movie lovers might otherwise miss amid the flood of silver-screen goodies.

Here, he shares his choice for tonight: Good Bye.

Good Bye Directed by Mohammad Rasoulof 6:30 p.m. Wednesday, November 9 Denver FilmCenter/Colfax

Good Bye, a film from Iran, "is important for several reasons," Withey says. "Mohammad Rasoulof won our Best Feature Film award last year with a film called White Meadows -- and not long after that, he was arrested and jailed, as were a whole slew of other filmmakers, painters and artists, for supposed propaganda crimes against the regime. He was sentenced to six years in prison for his film, which had parts that were pretty obviously critical about the Iranian government.

"As part of his sentence, he wasn't supposed to make films anymore," he continues. "But when he was out on bail, he immediately made another film: Good Bye. And it's even less thinly veiled than White Meadows. It's a story about a woman who is searching, mostly through Tehran, trying to get a visa to leave the country. And the film had to be smuggled out of Iran for its first screening, which was at Cannes."

A fascinating backstory to be sure -- but how's the movie? "Very different from White Meadows," Withey notes. "That was set in outlying areas, but Good Bye is very urban, and very urgent. It's really engaging and feels really immediate. It's a great film, and even if nothing had happened to the filmmaker, I think it would still be one of my top choices in the festival."

Click here for more information about Good Bye, look below to see a trailer, and keep visiting The Latest Word throughout the festival for more of Brit's picks.

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More from our Television & Film archive: "The Descendants is a small story that made for a Big Night at the Starz Denver Film Festival."

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