Found in: Iranian films
The Lizard is a 2004 Iranian comedy directed by Kamal Tabrizi.
Although a comedy, the film makes serious points about the clergy, religion, society in Iran, and life in general. Due to the film's perceived attacks towards clerics, the movie was banned from theatres in Iran after only being on screen for one month. Yet despite this short run, the film broke all Iranian movie box office records and was the top grossing Iranian movie of all time until Tahmineh Milani's Atash Bas (Cease-fire). A bootleg DVD of Marmoulak with English subtitles is widely available online.
A criminal in jail, Reza Marmoulak, injures himself on purpose to stay at a hospital. Once in the hospital he escapes wearing a Islamic cleric's clothing. On his way to a border-town near Turkey he is mistaken for a village cleric and is told to go there. Once there he takes up residence in the local mosque and helps out with the villager's problems, while giving advice not usually given by clerics. Meanwhile the police and jail warden are searching Iran for him....
This film was released 2 months after production was complete. The director had problems getting the movie released as many clerics found the movie offensive. he movie was released during Norooz holidays in Iran, and had a very short, but successful one month run. Due to the film's short run, and massive demand for tickets, many were not able to see the movie, and were forced to view bootleg copies made by people who had sneaked cell phones or camcorders into movie theatres
Parviz Parastui (As "Reza Marmoulak")
Farideh Sepah Mansour
Censorship in Iran