Tahmineh Milani’s “The Fifth Reaction”
An Iranian Woman Fighting for Her Rights
By Josef Schnelle
Five women sit in a restaurant in Tehran and talk about their husbands and their marriages. First, the conversations are quite amusing, but later on we notice that each woman faces serious problems below the thin surface of legal rights granted to women in Iran. Continue reading
Following his passionate involvement in the 1968 demonstrations (Maselli was one of the supporters of the protest at the 1969 Venice Biennial), he made two explicitly “political” films, Lettera aperta ad un giornale della sera (1970) and Il sospetto di Francesco Maselli (1975). In Lettera ad un giornale della sera, which prompted fierce discussion about the idea of “political commitment” amongst left-wing intellectuals, Maselli played one of the characters, thereby openly involving himself in the debate, together with Nanni Loy and other politically active colleagues and friends.
For this film, Maselli used a style which in many ways was similar to certain paradigms of “cinema-verité”: the film was shot in 16 mm with heavy use of the zoom, the hand-held camera and out-of-sync sound.
Maselli returned to a more relaxed cinematic language and a more concise structure with Il sospetto. Dubbed “one of the best political films of all time”, it was set in the year of the “turning-point” (1934), one of the most important moments in the evolution of the Communist party.
Gian Maria Volonté gave a splendid performance in the role of Emilio, the protagonist, a militant Communist who has emigrated to France, embroiled in an affair so fraught that it turns into a thriller. Continue reading
One of the most terrible ills of our time, people trafficking, follows the so-called Balkans Route for smuggling people into the West. Bosnian and Croatian papers often carry stories about groups of illegal immigrants discovered by the police, and just as frequent are the news of such imimigrants’ deaths. The Melon Route is inspired by the true story of twelve illegal immigrants who drowned in the river Sava on the border of Bosnia and Croatia. This event has been enlarged in the script, and seen through the eyes of a young Chinese girl, who loses her father in the accident. She enters into a tenuous relationship with an ex-Croatian Army soldier, a cured drug addict suffering from PTSD, who lost everything in the war. The linguistic and cultural barriers between the two protagonists give an added dimension to the film, shot through by the painful realization that it is hard to carry an inescapable burden: one’s place of birth. Continue reading
Mysterious goings-on twist and turn this effective but slightly uneven drama of murder and intrigue into a Gordian knot, skillfully woven by director Hiroshi Teshigahara. One day an impoverished miner is taken aback when he notes that he is being followed around by some stranger dressed in white. He and his son run away from the haunting vision, and the miner eventually gets sent on a job to a specific village. When he arrives with his son, he discovers that there is only one woman living in the village and suddenly the man in white shows up and murders the miner. His son witnesses the act but is not seen himself. Then the killer pays off the woman to identify the murderer as a union leader, while the victim himself is passed off as a rival union leader — whom he uncannily resembles. From that point onward, the plot thickens considerably as the two real union leaders start to investigate the tragedy.
~ Eleanor Mannikka, All Movie Guide Continue reading
Today Iranian cinema is one of the most highly regarded national cinemas in the world, regularly winning festival awards and critical acclaim for films which combine remarkable artistry and social relevance. Iran: A Cinematographic Revolution traces the development of this film industry, which has always been closely intertwined with the country’s tumultuous political history, from the decades-long reign of Reza Shah Pahlevi and his son, the rise of Khomeini and the birth of the Islamic Republic, the seizure by militants of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, and the devastating war with Iraq. Continue reading
A story about young orphan girl who was rejected by her mother. Continue reading
A young girl witnesses her brother murder a man through a reflection in a mirror. Twenty years later the mirror is shattered, freeing his evil spirit, which seeks revenge for his death. Continue reading