Published Sep 01, 2001
In "Secret Ballot," director Babek Payami explores an election system that's even more screwed up than the America's. A soldier receives orders to drive an electoral agent around a remote island in order to collect votes from people. Much to the soldier's surprise, the agent turns out to be a woman, but reluctantly, he carries out his orders. Together, they drive around looking for people and trying to find and convince them to cast their choice for office. The two make an odd pair with the soldier ready to force people to vote at gun point and the agent passionately championing the rule of law and democracy. This is the theatre of the absurd, and there are some funny moments here. The movie also has its moments of insight. At one point, the two come across a farm run by a matriarch who has no interest in the election for herself or those who work under her. The otherwise relentless agent gives up in trying to convince the matriarch because she realises she has her own private government.