Noordse Focus


  • Director: Milad Alami
  • Subtitle: English
  • Language: Swedish,
    Persian (Farsi)
  • Original title: Motståndaren
  • Production countries: Sweden,
  • Jaartal: 2023
  • Runtime 1h 59min.


Iman, a professional wrestler from Tehran, flees their homeland with his wife Maryam and their two daughters. The asylum procedure in Sweden is difficult and the family waits a long time for a residence permit. When Iman hears that top athletes can get dispensation, he decides to join the Swedish wrestling team against his wife's wishes. While his family longs to return to their homeland, Iman's emotional struggles reveal the deeper reason behind his flight from Iran.

Swedish-Iranian director Milad Alami's work was previewed at the 2018 Northern Film Festival (The Charmer, 2018). As with his debut, Alami once again manages to thrill viewers with this carefully crafted drama. Opponent shows a tangible confrontation with the unspoken, where wrestling not only symbolises the daily struggle in unfree Iran, but also to challenge stereotypes around masculinity.

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