Secret Ballot () is an Iranian film from 2001. It was directed by Babak Payami. The film covers a day in the life of a female voting agent collecting votes on an island in Iran.
The story begins at a small, two-man army post on a remote island. It is voting day, and an election agent is due to arrive by boat. A young woman arrives, collects the official voting box, and demands that the soldier on duty escort her around the island. They climb into a military jeep and begin driving around, looking for voters. The nameless woman is totally dedicated to her duty, a true believer in the importance of voting, a tireless worker, rather voluble and certainly not submissive. This confuses and angers the dim-witted soldier, who feels that a man should be the voting agent. Chador and all, she's clearly a liberated woman, a "city gal" as described by the soldier.
The couple-by-necessity do eventually (jeep trouble aside) scour the land to find eligible voters among the sparse locals. The trek starts in a desert and gradually moves to somewhat greener places. It is educational for both parties. They encounter a variety of people (mostly illiterate peasants) and situations, which simultaneously instructs the two roamers and the audience. By the end of the film, only a few people have voted, and the young woman is largely disillusioned about the entire process. Several people refused to vote for the "approved" candidates, and one voted for her. ... Read More