Iran

Arby Ovanessian – Cheshme AKA The Spring (1972)

A man falls in love with a stranger woman. The woman has her young lover whom she secretly dates in an uninhabited house. The man discovers that the subject of his affection is in fact his friend’s wife and in despair takes his own life. Read More »

Parviz Kimiavi – Baghé sangui AKA Garden of Stones (1976)

Synopsis:
Darvish Khan, a deaf-mute shepherd living in the desert, has a mystical vision in a dream in which he encounters a saint. When he awakens, he finds himself clutching a large stone. Grateful for the vision, he aims to pay homage and begins to construct an unusual monument in its honor. After his wife tells a neighbor that it is miraculous place, news of his ‘garden of stones’ spreads and people from neighboring villages come to see it. The result wreaks havoc upon Darvish Khan’s life. Bagh-e Sangi won the Silver Bear prize for the best film at the 1976 Berlin Film Festival and was shown at the Tehran, London and Paris film festivals. It was recently included at #20 on a list of the 27 best Iranian films, as selected by 14 Iranian directors for the 2014 Fribourg International Film Festival. Read More »

Rafi Pitts – ShekarChi AKA The Hunter (2010)

A man turns to violence after losing those he loves most in this taut drama from Iran. Ali (Rafi Pitts) is a reformed criminal who lives in a small flat in Tehran with his wife Sara (Mitra Hajjar) and their young daughter Saba (Saba Yaghoobi). While he’s grateful for the chance to support his family honestly, Ali doesn’t much care for his job as a night watchman or the noise and stress of city life; Ali heads off to the woods and clears his mind by hunting as often as he can. One day, Ali comes home from work to an empty apartment; he has no idea when his family has gone, and when they don’t return, he goes to the police. Read More »

Mehrdad Oskouei – Az pase borghe AKA The Other Side of the Burka (2004)

Set in a tight-knit, extremely conservative island community off the Southern coast of Iran where all women wear burkas, this film begins as an investigation into the suicide of a woman named Samireh. Her husband callously says that while he cares about the lives of his kids, women’s lives are cheap. However, the women the director Oskouei interviews – many of whom were married off at age 12 or 13 – stand up for themselves and discuss their difficult existences. Oskouei relies mostly on close-up or medium-shot interviews, and as usual, displays his gift for framing people dynamically in tight spaces. Read More »

Hamid Nematollah – Boutique (2003)

Hamid Nematollah’s compelling drama “stakes out a new path for Iranian cinema” (Variety) as it exposes key problems plaguing modern-day Tehran. Johan is a gentle and thoughtful young man who works as a window dresser at a fashionable boutique. When a poor and very beautiful young girl enters his store, Johan feels compelled to steal a pair of blue jeans for her. This action triggers a downward spiral that will change Johan’s life forever. “Painfully real and engaging” (Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times).—Iran—2004—115 mins.
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Hamed Rajabi – Paridan az ertefa kam AKA A Minor Leap Down (2015)

Nahal who is four months pregnant suddenly finds out that her child is dead. She chose silence and decides not to talk with anybody about that.

Quote:
A dark film with moments that recall Bunuel.

Nahal is around thirty and in her fourth month of pregnancy. During a routine check-up she learns that her baby has died and she now faces a curettage abortion in two days’ time. When she tries to address the subject, neither her mother nor her husband give her a chance to speak. Nahal knows that her family will force her to go back to taking the antidepressant medication she began prior to her pregnancy. At first the young woman appears to resume her daily life as before, but her silence soon turns into rebellion. Read More »

Kamran Shirdel – Teheran, payetakht-e Iran ast AKA Tehran is the Capital of Iran (1966)

“Tehran is the Capital of Iran” (1966-79) documents life in a deprived district in the south of Tehran. The images of destitution in Tehran’s poor areas is accompanied by a variety of spoken accounts: the official viewpoint on the district’s living conditions, what the inhabitants have to say, and occasional extracts read out of school manuals. The key element in Shirdel’s film is the counterpoint effect he creates with image and sound. His impressively powerful portrayal of social unease helps reinforce the impact of his astonishing documentary images and social themes.. Read More »