Desert Dancer

Iran’s Green Revolution becomes the backdrop for a Footloose knockoff in this supremely embarrassing docudrama. It tells the story of Afshin Ghaffarian, a Tehran art student who defied authorities by starting a modern dance group in secret not long before the disputed reelection of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009. As portrayed here, Ghaffarian isn’t a dissident so much as a wannabe Westerner; almost every creative work that inspires him comes from the U.S. (“Louie Louie,” On the Waterfront, Michael Jackson videos), which suggests that the filmmakers didn’t bother to learn a thing about Iranian art before making this. Similarly, Jon Croker’s script draws liberally on Hollywood sports-movie cliches. Richard Raymond directed.