Iranian movies line up for Hong Kong festival 

March 13, 2021 - 18:53

TEHRAN – The 45th edition of the Hong Kong International Film Festival has selected a lineup of Iranian movies to go on screen in its World Cinema section.

The lineup includes “180º Rule” by Farnush Samadi, “Careless Crime” by Shahram Mokri, “No Choice” by Reza Dormishian, “Son-Mother” by Mahnaz Mohammadi and “The Wasteland” by Ahmad Bahrami.

In addition, “District Terminal”, a co-production between Iran and Germany by directors Bardia Yadegari and Ehsan Mirhosseini and  “Radiography of a Family”, a co-production of Norway, Iran and Switzerland by Firuzeh Khosrovani, will also be screened at the event, which will go online from April 1 to 12.

“180º Rule” tells the story of Sara, a school teacher whom her students love and who is married to Hamed. As her family gets ready to attend a wedding in northern Iran, an unforeseen obligation falls on Hamed and derails their plans. When Sara’s husband suddenly forbids her to attend the event without him, she makes a decision that sets her on the painful path of atonement.

“Careless Crime” goes back forty years to 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.

The film has been screened at several major international festivals and won several awards, including the best original screenplay award at the Venice festival and the Silver Hugo of the jury at the Chicago International Film Festival.

Co-written by Nasim Ahmadpur and Mokri, the film also won the award for best screenplay at the 19th Dhaka International Film Festival in Bangladesh.

“District Terminal” is about a junkie poet named Peyman who attempts to finish a poem, where his city of Tehran falls prey to pollution and a lethal virus. 

“No Choice” centers on a 16-year-old homeless girl who repeatedly works as a surrogate mother for money. A human rights attorney tries to rescue her, but inevitably faces difficulties.

“Radiography of a Family”, is literally an X-ray of a family. The film received the IDFA Award for Best Feature-Length Documentary. 

“Son-Mother” tells the story of Leila, a single mother who lives in the poverty of today’s Iran. The factory where she works is facing a crisis and jobs are in danger. Kazem, the factory bus driver, proposes to Leila, but only under certain conditions. When Leila loses her job, she must face a difficult decision – whether to accept Kazem’s proposal, which would save her from poverty, but would also force her to abandon her son. In the end, it will be him who will have to decide.

“The Wasteland” is about an old brick manufacturing factory that is going to be shut down, and all that matters to the factory supervisor is to keep his lover unharmed.  

The film won the Orizzonti award for best film at the 77th Venice Film Festival in September, while it also received the Fai Persona Lavoro Ambiente Foundation Award of the festival.

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


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