“Careless Crime” wins Silver Hugo at Chicago festival

October 25, 2020 - 18:25

TEHRAN – Iranian director Shahram Mokri’s latest film “Careless Crime” has won the Silver Hugo of the jury at the Chicago International Film Festival, which was held from October 14 to 25.

Jurors Violeta Bava, Chinonye Chukwu, Tetsuya Mariko, Adam Stockhausen, Eliane Umuhire and Boyd Van Hoeij presented the awards in the International Feature Film Competition section. 

“Careless Crime” goes back to forty years ago, during the uprising to overthrow the Shah’s regime in Iran, when protestors set fire to movie theaters as a way of showing opposition to Western culture. Many cinemas were burned down. In one tragic case, a theater was set on fire with four hundred people inside, most of whom were burned alive. Forty years have passed and, in contemporary Iran, four individuals also decide to burn down a cinema. Their intended target is a theater showing a film about an unearthed, unexploded missile.

“Careless Crime” won the best original screenplay of the Venice festival in September.

“Fish & Cat” and “Invasion” are among two other praiseworthy films by Mokri.

“Fish & Cat” is about restaurant owners who lurk around a student assembly holding a kite competition near a lake during the winter solstice. In 2013, the movie won the special jury prize at the Venice International Film Festival in Italy.

“Invasion”, which went on screen in the Panorama section of the 68th Berlin International Film Festival in 2018, is set in a mysterious stadium covered by a strange fog, where a murder is committed. 

While a re-enactment is organized by the police, the murderer and his accomplices prepare another assassination. But little by little everyone seems caught in an infernal time loop.

The Gold Hugo of the Chicago festival went to “Sweat”, a co-production between Poland and Sweden by Magnus von Horn.

Andrei Konchalovsky from Russia was selected as best director for his movie “Dear Comrades!”

The Silver Hugo for best screenplay went to “Apples” Greek director Christos Nikou co-wrote with Stavros Raptis.

The screenplay of “Apples”, delicately constructed and sketched with impressive economy, manages to create a world with its own, odd rules, even as the element that breathes life into this world is the fact it so clearly parallels our own experiences and understanding of the world we live in. The main character’s gradual coming into his own, as he navigates between a past and future unknown, is beautifully modulated, gradually blossoming from an anonymous avatar into a fully fleshed out human being.

Japanese actor Yakusho Koji won the Silver Hugo for best performance in “Under the Open Sky” by Miwa Nishikawa, while the Silver Hugo for best ensemble performance was awarded to Mala Emde, Noah Saavedra,

Tonio Schneider, Luisa-Céline Gaffron, and Andreas Lust for their roles in “And Tomorrow the Entire World” by Julia von Heinz from Germany.

Photo: A scene from Shahram Mokri’s “Careless Crime”.

RM/MMS/YAW

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