A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night (2014) follows an Iranian teenage vampire girl (Sheila Vand) who skateboards around a desolate, criminal-filled city dishing comeuppance to its corrupt citizens. She wears a chador with a striped shirt one could find at H&M. We see people engaged in clubbing, promiscuity, and recreational drug use while dancing to synth music. It’s all contrary to typical western impressions of Middle Eastern culture. Aside from the characters’ heritage and the fact everyone speaks Farsi, there is little in the film that holds true to western assumptions.
Interpretation on DestroyTheBrain says, “Indeed, it does seem like underneath the veneer of this sleek vampire movie, Amirpour is making a statement about Western influence on Middle Eastern culture. The characters do very American things, things that most westerners would assume Middle Easterners wouldn’t do.”
One reviewer in the LA Review of Books discusses the vampire character as an extension of director Amirpour herself, saying, "Amirpour’s character of The Girl — the skateboarding vampire who wanders the streets of Bad City, alone — becomes the film’s avatar for the experience of encountering, following, and obsessively consuming American and European media as a marginalized Other. By aligning its gaze with that of the near-silent Girl, A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night dramatizes the experience of the second-generation immigrant teen who draws her blood from different media designed by and for white audiences... 'It’s undeniable to me,' [Amirpour] says in an interview with the Vilcek Foundation, 'that if my parents hadn’t left [Iran] and come to America, I wouldn’t have made this movie.' In assembling a full cast of Iranian actors working in the United States and Europe, Amirpour describes the work of creating Bad City with them as a collaborative process of constructing a space that could be 'as Iranian as [they] are.' A city that is a 'mash-up' of their parents’ Iran, and of the American and European pop culture references that suffuse their work as artists. A space in which its creators’ liminal identities are not sources of isolation, but, rather, the main driving forces behind Bad City’s aching, oozing cool."
Ultimately, the film's perspective is neither Western nor Middle Eastern but a fusion of the two. Amirpour embraces her in-between identity as a strength and creates a new aesthetic that synthesizes and smashes together supposedly clashing experiences and ideologies.