After casting painter and video artist Mania Akbari as the central figure of his groundbreaking Ten (2002), and then witnessing her outstanding debut as a feature film director in 20 Fingers (2004), Abbas Kiarostami urged her to direct a sequel to the film. In Dah be alaveh Chahar (10 + 4), though, circumstances are different: Mania is fighting cancer. She has undergone surgery; she has lost her hair following chemotherapy and no longer wears the compulsory headscarf; and sometimes she is too weak to drive. So the camera follows her to record conversations with friends and family in different spaces, from the gondola she had famously used in her first feature to a hospital bed. Yet, while he body shows the effects of the disease, Akbari is as tough, charismatic, and argumentative as in her previous screen appearances her luminous presence all the more alluring and precious as it becomes a sign of how fragile life itself is. Her cinematic language has been expanded and refined from the rigorous explorations of 20 Fingers, to take into account the unexpected aspects of facing simultaneously death and survival, social stigma and sympathy. Treading an elegant line between documentary and fiction, Akbari takes a daring look at complex social situations that arise in the face of mortality and emerges with a new zest for life.
10 + 4 walks the delicate line between art and life. Akbari’s last film (the revelatory 20 Fingers) eviscerated male and female relationships, and this time she spares no one, not even herself Often it is the smallest details that stick and tell the hardest truths: a man on motorcycle pulls (the newly bald) Mania over to the side of the road to demand to know whether she is male or female As conversation unfolds in episodic and allusive fashion, the film becomes more than a conventional documentary; it trespasses into the realm of art. Filled with touches of grace and humanity, but never ever sentimental, it is an honest (sometimes brutally so) look at the moments of life that can occur very close to death.
The film makes use of simple cinematic techniques. Tight shots allow us to enter into the intimate world of the protagonist, and we were deeply moved by it. Throughout the film, the spectator stays with the progress of the disease and is made a sympathetic witness of it. 10 + 4 left us speechless. statement from the Festival des Trois Continents (Nantes) jury.
This film reflects my inner experience. It is vitally important to expose deep inner truths no matter how difficult and painful they are. 10 + 4 depicts a part of these realities. What is difficult and can’t be said or heard will be seen and this will make healing possible. We have to allow the things that must die within us to die; and allow what has to come to life again or has stayed alive to be. If we do not resist inner death, then real death will appear in all its strength. – Mania Akbari
The title 10 + 4 is an allusion to the number of years (four) separating Ten from its sequel. In-between, there was the fight with cancer. 10 + 4 was internationally premiered at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and has received awards in several international festivals (such as Nantes and Kerala).
Subtitles:English hardencoded subs