It all began with “Black Friday” – a massacre on Sept 8, 1978, by the Shah’s police. Official pronouncements put the death toll at 200, but the next day the people of Teheran witnessed how thousands of bodies were brought to Behast Zahra cemetery. Yet even this wasn’t the whole extent of the tragedy. As the families continued looking for their relatives they began to realize just how many had disappeared. Over the next few months the massacres continued, with many thousands more disappearing, until February 11th, 1979, victory day for the Revolution. Naderi’s film follows this search for the missing, through which the terrible truth is gradually revealed. The film is not only a documentary but also a document of a horrible crime. Read More »
The Lower East Side of Manhatttan. One day. Three women. Colleen is a single mother and photographer. She spends her time in a bar on Avenue B. She wants a better life for her child. Kate is a musician. She came to the city to free herself of a secret she has been carrying her whole life. Now, all she wants is to make music. Kacey works in a restaurant. She has lost her boyfriend, her girlfriend and her dog. Most of all, she wants to find her dog. Woven into these portraits of Colleen, Kate and Kacey is a fourth portrait: that of New York City itself. Read More »
Plot Synopsis from allmovie:
Iranian expatriate Amir Naderi completes the trilogy he began with Manhattan by Numbers and A, B, C… Manhattan with this unusual drama about a woman obsessed. Gretchen (Sara Paul) is a woman living in Manhattan who is fascinated with crossword puzzles, and has issued a stern challenge to herself — to complete over 77 newspaper crossword puzzles in 24 hours, which would beat the number she did in a similar period the previous year. Gretchen does most of her work riding subways or buses, following the square grid of the city which somehow resembles the puzzles that fascinate her, and when she is at home, she listens to recordings of the noise of the street, unable to separate the urban landscape from her compulsive behavior. Leading actress Sara Paul appeared in a different role in Naderi’s earlier A, B, C… Manhattan. Read More »
A young teenager returns home after an absence to find his village in Iran deserted because of an incredibly severe drought. He begins a search to find his family, traveling through an amazingly bleak and desolate landscape. Primarily an essay on the issue of humans vs. nature, the film is of interest for technical and cultural reasons. Read More »
from imdb review:
This is an unusual film of exceptional values–75 minutes long in color, with hardly any spoken dialogs. I saw this Iranian film in Farsi without English subtitles at the Early Iranian cinema retrospective on-going International Film Festival of Kerala, India. That I was watching a print without subtitles did not make a difference as there were very few lines of spoken dialogs.
This is a very accessible film for any audience to enjoy–its story and values are not merely Iranian, it’s universal. Read More »
Plot summary on imdb
Naderi’s second film is set in the slums of Tehran. Hanging out in a pool hall, Ali Khoshdast becomes involved in a brawl with three brothers, and accidently kills one of them. He runs for his life, eventually taking refuge in the home of a young woman. The victim’s brothers continue the chase, and finally close in on him. Following the murder, streets, alleys and houses that were all part of Ali’s everyday world suddenly become dangerous and hostile. Although in many ways a classic tale of revenge, Naderi uses this story to imply that an underlying violence pervades society, ready to burst forth with or without justification. Written by Anonymous Read More »
Amiro is a young boy who has lost his home during the war. He spends his days by working odd jobs, until he realizes that the only way that he can realize his dreams is by enrolling in school. In school, he has conflict with other students. Finally there is a competition to see who can say the whole alphabet in one breath.
The Runner won the main prize at the famous Three Continents Festival at Nantes in 1985. It is often compared to Truffaut’s The 400 Blows, but is even more anguished and intense.
It was one of the first Iranian films of the Revolutionary period to attract widespread acclaim abroad, several years before filmmakers like Abbas Kiarostami and Mohsen Makhmalbaf achieved international renown. Read More »