Action film “Day Zero” brings Jundallah founder Rigi back to life

February 4, 2020 - 18:48

TEHRAN – Saeid Malekan, producer and makeup artist, has brought Abdul-Malik Rigi, the founder and leader of the Jundallah terrorist group in southeastern Iran, back to life in his directorial debut “Day Zero”.

The film, which premiered during the 38th Fajr Film Festival at Tehran’s Mellat Cineplex on Monday, portrays the intelligence and police operations Iran carried out to arrest Rigi.  

“It is based on a true story,” Malekan said during a press conference after the premiere of his film and added, “I wanted to make a film about those who are struggling to provide security for us.”

“I also wanted to say that those people should not feel people are indebted to them, because they have consciously selected their job,” he noted.

Malekan praised actor Saeid Soheili for his portrayal of Rigi in the movie and said, “He was the best option for the character and he did it best.”

Soheili has made a strong comeback with “Day Zero” two years after his powerful performance in “Lottery”, director Mohammad-Hossein Mahdavian’s drama about the mafia trafficking Iranian women to the United Arab Emirates.

“One of the factors that caused me to agree to play the role was its difference with other roles I’ve already taken in other films,” Soheili said at the press conference.

“I was very curious about the character and somehow, I deem myself a defender of it; it was very important for me to know what causes an ordinary street peddler to change into an awful character,” he added.

Malekan has previously collaborated as a producer in many acclaimed movies such as Saeid Rusitai’s “Life+1 Day” on drug addiction and poverty in the slums of Tehran and Bahram Tavakkoli’s acclaimed war drama “The Lost Strait”.

This is the second time Rigi has been chosen as a subject for film by an Iranian filmmaker. The first was Narges Abyar’s “When the Moon Was Full”, which was highly acclaimed at the previous edition of the Fajr Film Festival with awards in several categories, including best film and best director.

Photo: Members of cast and crew attend the Iranian premiere of Saeid Malekan’s directorial debut “Day Zero” the 38th Fajr Film Festival at Tehran’s Mellat Cineplex on February 3, 2020. (ISNA/Hadi Zand)

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