Italian festival screening movies from Iranian new wave cinema

June 28, 2015 - 0:0

Tehran -- Il Cinema Ritrovato, an Italian festival dedicated to screening newly restored classics, is scheduled to show four Iranian films from the Iranian new wave cinema, which began in the late 1960s.

“Night of the Hunchback” (1965) directed by Farrokh Ghaffari, “The Night It Rained” also known as “The Epic of the Gorgan Village Boy” (1967) directed by Kamran Shirdel, “The Cow” (1969) by Dariush Mehrjuii and “A Simple Event” (1973) by Sohrab Shahid Saless will be screened at the festival, which opened on Saturday.

The black comedy “Night of the Hunchback”, set over the course of one night against a backdrop of uptown Tehran partying to Ray Charles, focuses on the efforts of a group of stage actors, the father of a bride, and a hairdresser and his assistant (played by Ghaffari himself) to rid themselves of an unwelcome corpse.

The satirical documentary “The Night It Rained” offers a crash course in 1960s Iran. A newspaper story of a heroic village boy who prevented a train disaster appears and spreads quickly. The incident, reported on and challenged by local officials and journalists, is soon doubted and leads ultimately to confusion, with nobody knowing exactly who has saved whom.

“The Cow”, which is considered as the milestone of Iranian new wave cinema, tells the story of a poor villager whose only source of joy and livelihood is his cow, which provides milk for the village. One night the cow is mysteriously killed and that’s when the madness, or rather transformation, begins.

“A Simple Event” depicts a few days in the life of a young boy living by the Caspian Sea. At school he falls behind his classmates and is almost expelled. He helps his father to fish illegally, and at home watches as his mother’s health deteriorates.

Iranian film expert Ehsan Khoshbakht will curate the screenings of the films in collaboration with the National Film Archive of Iran.

Over 400 films, ranging from 1895 up to the present day, are scheduled to be screened at the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival, which run in the Italian city of Bologna until July 4.

Photo: From left, this combination photo shows scenes from “A Simple Event”, “Night of the Hunchback”, “The Cow” and “The Night It Rained”.