Cinéma Vérité announces Iranian lineup for international competition 

December 7, 2021 - 18:14

TEHRAN – Seven documentaries by Iranian filmmakers will be screened in the various categories of the international competition at the 15th edition of the Cinéma Vérité festival.

The major Iranian international festival for documentary films will open with a limited number of guests and audience on Thursday at Tehran’s Charsu Cineplex.

“Eastwood” by Alireza Rasulinejad, “Makeup Artist” by Jafar Najafi and “Broken Bones” by Alireza Memariani will be screened in the feature-length documentary category.

“Eastwood” shows how a picture in an old newspaper sends director Rasulinejad on a mission to the Iranian city of Sirjan to find the Hollywood legend Clint Eastwood. 

Wearing a motorcycle helmet and embarking on his impossible journey like an Iranian Don Quixote, he lets his cinephile dreams be his guide to the dusty desert landscapes, which are straight out of “A Fistful of Dollars” if only you didn’t know better. But maybe Clint is actually out there? All the locals are on first-name terms with him anyway in Rasulinejad’s deadpan satire of Hollywood’s cultural dominance, not just in the West, but all the way out in the Iranian villages. But just like any journey is a goal in itself, his chance encounters and quaint ideas help shape Rasulinejad’s playful but sincere film, which (self-)ironically stands in stark contrast to the masculine action star to whom it is so passionately dedicated.

“Makeup Artist”, the winner of the Award of Excellence at the Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in Japan, is about Mina, a makeup artist who is determined to realize her dreams. She not only refuses to succumb to her husband and mother-in-law’s fierce opposition, but also paves her own path and pushes forward along it. Gradually, it looks as if the people and world around her are starting to change.

“Children of the Dirty Ground” by Mikail Dayyani and “Gislu” by Mohammad-Sadeq Esmaeili will compete in the mid-length category and “Dear Bibi” by Narges Judaki and Iman Paknahad and “Water, Wind, Dust, Bread” by Mehdi Zamanpur will be screened the in the short film category.

“Water, Wind, Dust, Bread” has previously been screened at several international festivals.

It tells the story of 11-year-old Abolfazl who lives with his family in an oasis in the Iranian desert. He picks dates, tends to his family’s cows, does his homework, and has fun with his best friend Setayesh.

The camera quietly observes their friendship as they swing between the date palms or climb the windswept rocks around the oasis. Abolfazl’s mother bakes fresh bread, and tourists come to her guesthouse for the serene atmosphere.

But life in the oasis is not entirely idyllic. Although Abolfazl lives with a physical disability, it is Setayesh who faces an even bigger hurdle. She is one of the 40,000 children in Iran who don’t have a birth certificate, and as a result, she can’t go to school.

Photo: “Eastwood” directed by Alireza Rasulinejad.


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