Desert Dancer

2015 PG-13 1h 38m DVD

Desert Dancer

2015 PG-13 1h 38m DVD
  • Overview
  • Details
In this uplifting drama based on real events, Afshin Ghaffarian defies the government's prohibition against dancing in modern Iran and founds an underground dance company, with help from some courageous friends.
Marama Corlett, Tolga Safer, Makram Khoury, Freida Pinto, Reece Ritchie, Akin Gazi, Simon Kassianides, Nazanin Boniadi, Tom Cullen
Richard Raymond
PG-13 - Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13. Parents are urged to be cautious. Some material may be inappropriate for pre-teenagers.
age 14+
Common Sense rating OK for kids 14+
age 14+

Common Sense Note

Parents need to know that Desert Dancer is based on the life of Afshin Ghaffarian, who overcame oppression in Iran and lived to fulfill his dream as a dancer. There are scenes of innocent people being beaten and stabbed by the morality police, who use sticks and knives. Guns are shown, and some blood is shown. The main female character has a heroin habit; viewers don't see her using the drug, but she's shown high, and there's an intense detox scene. College students drink vodka, heroin users are shown in a nightclub, and there's some background cigarette smoking. Language includes a use of "s--t." Terms like "whore" and "kissing" are also used, but other than an infatuation between the male and female lead, sexual content isn't really an issue. The movie is serious and full of cliches, but die-hard fans of dance movies will likely be swept away.

Sexual Content

Two lead characters are clearly smitten with each other, but they never act on the attraction. Brief mentions of "whore" and "kissing."


Characters are beaten by the morality police. Sticks and knives are used. Some blood/bloody wounds shown. Guns shown. Hands bound with plastic zip ties.


A use of "s--t."

Social Behavior

Teamwork and bravery help overcome a scary situation; characters face danger to achieve something they believe in. Though it's treated simplistically, viewers will learn a little about an oppressive government and how it keeps its people under control; there are questions here about how such a government can be stopped or defied, if even elections are rigged.


YouTube is important to the plot.

Drugs / Tobacco / Alcohol

The female lead (who's in college) has a heroin habit; she's shown high but not seen taking the drug. The consequences of her habit include an intense detox scene. College students drink vodka. Heroin users in a nightclub. Background cigarette smoking.

  • Age appropriate
  • Not an issue
  • Depends on your child and your family
  • Parents strongly cautioned
  • Not appropriate for kids of the age

This information for parents is provided by Common Sense Media, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving kids' media lives.

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