More Iranian movies added to Rotterdam festival lineup

May 16, 2021 - 19:16

TEHRAN – The International Film Festival Rotterdam has picked three more movies from Iranian filmmakers to screen during its 50th edition, which will take place in the Dutch city from June 2 to 6.

“The Crown Jewels of Iran”, director Ebrahim Golestan’s 1965 short, and “Chess of the Wind”, Mohammadreza Aslani’s 1976 drama have been selected to be showcased in Cinema Regained, a section dedicated to restored classics, documentaries on film culture, and explorations of cinema’s heritage.

“The Crown Jewels of Iran” was commissioned and then banned by the culture ministry under Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s last monarch, featuring dazzling edits and camera movements and a charged narration assaulting economic disparities.

Starring Mohammad-Ali Keshavarz, “Chess of the Wind” is about the decadence of a family in the Qajar dynasty of Iran. The first lady of a noble house has died and now there is a conflict among the heirs for taking over her heritage.

The Cannes Film Festival has previously screened the film in its classics. It was restored by Cineteca di Bologna at L’Immagine Ritrovata and the Film Foundation’s World Cinema Project.  

“The Rain Falls Where It Will” by Majid Barzegar will be competing in Harbour, IFFR’s newest program, which offers a safe haven to the full range of contemporary cinema that the festival champions. This section echoes Rotterdam’s port city identity.

Do we prolong life or death by trying to keep a dying family member with us as long as possible? This film is inspired by contentious medical-ethical concerns.

In the opening scene of “The Rain Falls Where It Will”, nurse Sara decides it is time to euthanize her friendless patient. She calmly adds a drug to the intravenous line, just like she does with the other hopeless cases she encounters. However, everything changes on a new assignment. Is it truly this comatose man’s last week? Sara talks to concerned family members and cares for her patient in stylish shots that sometimes last minutes, thus lending this Iranian drama intimacy. Barzegar finds space for both melancholy and hope, mixed with a pinch of the supernatural.

Earlier, the festival announced that four movies from Iranian cinema had been selected for its 2021 lineup.

“The Deer” directed by Masud Kimiai, “The Son” by Nushin Meraji, “Silence” by Amir-Ali Navai and “Careless Crime” by Shahram Mokri will also be screened in various section of the festival.

Photo: “The Rain Falls Where It Will” by Majid Barzegar.

MMS/YAW

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