“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 »
Ayaz, a lonely seventy-year-old man, detests his life. He’s constantly in search of ways of ending his life. Some years back, on the way back from a family wedding party, the minibus which he was driving, falls in the bottom of a valley and people on board -all his own family- are killed. Now, Ayaz lives with his teenager grandchild, Ebrahim – who is the last remainder of his family- and his wife’s voice on a cassette tape. He loathes being alive. Read More »
“Women’s Prison” recounts the life of the prisoners and the problems their families encounter in their struggle to survive. Here again filmmaker Kamran Shirdel employs the cinema verité style. The interviews with the prisoners, social workers and teachers serve as commentaries for “constructed” documentary images. The technical process shows the extent to which solving social problems depends on everyone’s cooperation and participation. Certainly prisoners alone cannot offer the remedy to the entire catalog of social ills that propel these women into delinquency. Read More »
An Iranian actor named Akbar is trying to become a serious actor instead of the clown everyone considers him to be. However financial problems force him to abandon his dream of being an artistic actor. He also has to deal with his family problems and his wife’s inability to become pregnant. Read More »
Bahman and Ahad are two bankrupt manufacturers who are fleeing from their creditors. But when a fire in Plasco Building happens it is their chance to take advantages. Read More »
Ostensibly a fast-paced tale about poor people in the Persian Gulf living aboard a sinking oil tanker, “Iron Island” is a galloping fable full of offbeat characters and entertaining moments. At the same time, it doesn’t take much to read this second feature from director Mohammad Rasoulof (“The Twilight”) as a sharp-edged allegory about the country of Iran. Festivals will be happy to sail on its irony and invention, though it may take auxiliary engines to market such a hard-to-classify little gem. Read More »
Three actresses at different stages of their career. One from before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, one popular star of today known throughout the country and a young girl longing to attend a drama conservatory.